Abortion as a Moral Choice


In April of 1973 my husband left me, pleading that he had fallen in love with our upstairs tenant and wanted to spend his life with her. I was four months pregnant. Roe v. Wade had been decided three months earlier.

My obstetrician sent me to see a social worker to help me sort out my feelings and make my plans. She began every one of her questions or suggestions with, "if you want an abortion…", until I finally shouted at her, "I DON'T want an abortion. " "Well, " she observed, "That solves that problem."

I had wanted this baby fiercely for some time, and my husband's defection did nothing to diminish my desire. But that conversation with the social worker, and the knowledge that an abortion would have been legally available had I felt unable to proceed with the pregnancy, added depth and resonance to my desire. This was a most wanted child. I had the choice, and I chose to have a baby.

My daughter told me recently, in a discussion about her father- who has never figured into her life except as an absence, a question mark- "Mom, when I was a kid and used to ask about my father, you always said, ‘You were a very wanted baby.'" So that knowledge has been central to her sense of her self.

At another point, a few years later, I did have an abortion. I was a single mother, working and pursuing a path to ordination in the Episcopal Church. The potential father was not someone I would have married; he would have been no better a candidate for fatherhood than my daughter's absent father. The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

I have not the slightest regret about either of these decisions, nor the slightest guilt. I felt sorrow and loss at the time of my abortion, but less so than when I'd miscarried some years earlier. Both of my choices, I believe, were right for me and my circumstances: morally correct in their context, practical, and fruitful in their outcomes.

That is, both choices were choices for life: in the first instance, I chose for the life of the unborn child; in the second, I chose for my own vocational life, my economic stability, and my mental and emotional health and wholeness.

Shortly after my ordination to the priesthood, I was asked to speak at the National Abortion Federation's annual meeting, on a Clergy Panel, with the theme of "Abortion as a Moral Choice." I wondered skeptically who would attend such a panel, but to my surprise, the room was packed with people – abortion providers and other clinic workers. Our audience was so eager and grateful to hear their work affirmed, to hear religious authorities assuring them that God was on their side! I understood that I had a responsibility, indeed, a call, as a pro-choice religious professional, to speak out and to advocate publicly for women's reproductive rights and health, and I have tried to be faithful to that call.

To talk theologically about women's right to choose is to talk about justice, equality, health and wholeness, and respect for the full humanity and autonomy of every woman. Typically, as moral theologians, we discuss the value of potential life (the fetus) as against the value of lived life – the mature and relational life of a woman deciding her capacity to continue or terminate a pregnancy. And we believe that, in general, the value of that actual life outweighs the value of the potential.

I like to talk, as well, in terms of gift and of calling. I believe that all life is a gift – not only potential life, but life developing and ripening with its many challenges, complications, joys and sorrows. When we face difficult reproductive choices we balance many gifts, many goods, and to fail to recognize the gifts of our accomplished lives is to fail to recognize God's ongoing blessing. I believe as well that God calls us all to particular vocations, and our decisions about whether and when to bear children are part of that larger pattern of our lives' sacred meanings.

Visit RH Reality Check throughout December to read about the ways in which individuals, both clergy and lay people, connect their religion or spirituality to their commitment to reproductive rights. To learn more about the connections between religion and reproductive justice, visit the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

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  • anna-clark

    A wonderful column. Thank you for not hedging away from articulating reproductive rights in a spiritual language. I very much feel my pro-choice political position to be one that's grounded in my spirituality, my morality, my ethics.

    I've been repelled by how anti-choicers have gathered for themselves the reputation for having a spiritual and religious foundation for their beliefs. The idea, for example, that voting a conservative, anti-choice platform is to vote for "family values"–I believe voting for reproductive rights is absolutely a "family values" position!

    Again, thank you for adding your voice and your personal story to this conversation. I'm grateful.

  • http://www.condomman.com invalid-0

    I really, really, really wish more people would read this article. And I wish that America would recognize and understand the morality and ethics behind the pro-choice position. The right wing has hijacked the moral discussion and the media has played right into it, effectively censoring the voice of pro-choice ethicists.

  • http://www.buildingcamelot.com invalid-0

    I can’t see how an abortion can be moral. The two words just don’t mix.

    I’m not one to judge anybody, but if someone thinks that morals include the death of a human life then I might question the kind of person they are.

    You most certainly can be a religious person and have an abortion, but you can not convince me that abortion is grounded in ANY religion.

    –TW

  • invalid-0

    … and you feel this is the advice the Lord Jesus would approve of if He were giving you counsel?

  • invalid-0

    I appreciated reading about your personal experiences and I do find it hard to support laws which are very black and white about the legality and illegality of abortions. However, I think your subject title, combined with your vocation is misleading. I feel very similarly to previous poster ‘Tyler’. And being Episcopalian myself, I find that somehow many contentious subjects (discussed within the church) tend to abstract theology out of the equation and replace it with rationality.

  • invalid-0

    war? Or the death penalty? All of these things are government condoned and government supported and, I venture to say, government initiated killing of human life. I'm not sure what you mean by "abortion being grounded in any religion" but in Judaism, for instance, there is a lot of confirmation for the pro-choice/pro-woman position that is in total opposition to the tried and true anti-choice rhetoric that tends to use Christian religion as a shield for its true anti-woman perspective.

    See this:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_biblh.htm

    And for more information:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_biblh.htm

    Finally, while you may personally believe that abortion is wrong or something you would never do, there are millions of women who believe abortion is one of the most moral, most selfless acts they have committed.

    61% of women who access abortions are already mothers. Many of these women want to be the best mothers they can be to the children they already have. They know how many children they want or don't want to have but mistakes happen.

    Morality is not universal for everyone, everywhere. Morality is, hopefully, something passed down from generation to generation stemming from a wonderful variety of influences: culture, ethnicity, religion or spirituality, geography. If millions of women say, "I want to have this choice over my own body", why would anyone say, "You cannot have that choice and we will stand in the way of you having that choice"?

     

  • invalid-0

    re: Anna Clark– “grounded in my spirituality, my morality, my ethics”…its all about me….has nothing to do about love, just love of self, ie selfishness…some spirituality!

    re: Rev. Foul. “to hear religious authorities assuring them that God was on their side”…this statement is the height of hubris…with statements like this, you may be qualified to be a Bush speech writer.

    you only deceive yourself to claim that the God of heaven would in any way approve of both adultery & murder.

    i must say that your surname is quite appropriate, matches your views well…Foulest even more so…must be a pen name.

    please reconsider carefully the filth you publish, for (Matthew 18:6) ” …he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. “

  • invalid-0

    Rationalization. That’s all this is. You don’t want the child, so you kill the child. Then you cloak your decision in spirituality in order to feel better about yourself. And the writer of this article even brings God into the equation, claiming He approves. How on earth did she come to that conclusion?

  • invalid-0

    Give me a break! A huge number of women who have abortions are single. They just don’t want the kid! Doesn’t fit into their life right now, ya know. Maybe if they had stayed out of the sack with that guy, there wouldn’t be a baby to abort. Oh but that wouldn’t be as much fun. Yes, yes, I know married women have abortions too. But the number of abortions has increased proportionately with the climate of free sex in this country. Lots of unmarried sex going on, so lots of STDs and lots of oops! unplanned pregnancies. We’ll just fix all that with condoms and safe sex education and finding cures for STDs and lots of abortions! That way we can continue down our primrose path to self-destruction.

    Abortion is the killing of an innocent life. If this “pastor” feels no regret about her abortion, that means her conscience is seared with a hot iron.

  • harry834

    Isn't their selfishness in the act of denying women safe access to a medical procedure done by a medical professional, instead of a quack in a back alley? You can say "that's her choice" if you want, but it was also the choice of you and your kind to stand in her way. And you are responsible for that choice.

    An early abortion, when the life inside is in microscopic form, can be a more ethical and moral choice than letting it grow to become a child than the woman has no ability to care for without the chaotic breakdown of her own life. Abortion can be a bad thing, but letting your whole life become chaos, can be far worse than stopping a microscopic entity.

    I hope you anti-abortionists support birth control to back up your sentiments.

    And while your focused on asserting that the microscopic life is a person, you better think about how the woman carrying that life is also a person, and supporting life mean thinking about hers, not dismissing hers.

    Tough issues. No cut-and-dry. Let the pregnant woman decide for herself. As you would say, "the pregnant, or non-pregnant, woman is a human life!"

  • invalid-0

    Look at your own life before you begin casting stones and throwing scripture at another person.
    This is what free will is all about and it Is God’s Law.
    There is another verse which you might have forgotten.

    Matthew 7:5
    “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

  • invalid-0

    As a child born of an unwanted pregnancy by one of my parents who WERE married… (My Southern Baptist Minister Father to be exact) I would have preferred to have been aborted. Instead, I was the only abused child out of four children.

    All of what you have stated about “free sex” was occurring long before our fear and degradation of the act of making love began to change. Sexually transmitted diseases have been around for thousands of years as has premarital sex. None of these issues have escalated in that time if you factor in that there are at least ten times as many humans populating the planet. The only difference is that we have chosen to come out and face these issues to find solutions to them.

    I charge that sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy would never have become issues if the act of love and women in general had not become vilified and demonized.

    It is God’s Love denied and the holy act of our bodies that has become considered evil and wrong. This is the real issue.

    Abortion is often an act of Love and I wish that my parents had had that kind of love for me.
    Instead, I grew up knowing that I was unwanted and unloved without the understanding of why until I was well into adulthood.

  • invalid-0

    And how do you dare to judge and divine the nature of another person’s relationship with God?

    How do you dare condemn another person for having strength to face obstacles in her life with true compassion, for not only herself, but for every soul involved?

    Why should anyone be forced to live up to the expectation and statues of another.
    Until you have walked a mile in their shoes it would be better to be silent.

    What about her right to life?

    Until you are willing to allow a mother to 20% of your income, plus benefits, as a birth father now would, and the right to raise her child with out your approval, save your judgment for your self.

    Until you can afford your brand of morality by supporting it with your own finances and/or under your own roof you might want to redefine what you call agape.
    I have never experienced a so called “Christian” who could even hope to live up to God’s definition of True Love.

    Next time you are picketing an abortion clinic… think about this.

  • http://www.condomman.com invalid-0

    that in one sentence you write “you only deceive yourself to claim that the God of heaven would in any way approve of murder.” ..

    … and then before even finishing your thought, you quote a bible verse in which jesus talks about drowning somebody.

  • http://www.condomman.com invalid-0

    Must have hit a nerve with some people … to me, that’s a sign that you’re on the right track …

  • invalid-0

    Why is expressing an opinion which differs from your own automatically labeled “hateful?” This nation was built on the freedom to discuss opinions in the public square. If you label every opinion that doesn’t agree with your own as “hateful,” then that reveals a mindset that is not open to dissent or debate. “Oh no, you disagreed with me, thus you are hateful!” The topics under discussion herein are matters of life and death, literally. They are emotionally charged. I should listen to you, and you should listen to me. Perhaps there is something in what you express that I can agree with. And maybe, just maybe, something I expressed has some validity. It is my observation that those of what is termed the “liberal” persuasion seem very quick to shut down giving so much as the slightest credibility to those who are more “conservative.” And that happens the other way around as well. As to the topics under discussion, they are so serious in nature, possibly leading to our destruction as a society, that we had better wake up and engage in more serious discussion of the issues rather than just flippantly labeling people.

  • invalid-0

    It’s called irresponsibility. If the woman is unable to care for a child, she needs to stay out of the sack with a man. If she’s a single woman sleeping around or if she’s shacking up with a guy unable to be a good father, then the fault is still hers for sleeping with a guy unable to be a proper father. And the guys are equally at fault for producing children irresponsibly. Yes, there are anecdotal exceptions such as rape and abuse, but the vast majority of females in the USA have FREEDOM OF CHOICE regarding sexual partners and sexual behaviors. That is where this whole things goes wrong to begin with. You are wanting to solve the problem by fixing the symptoms after the thing has gone wrong. No, let’s solve the problem in reality, before things go wrong and the woman is pregnant. Women, stop having sex with guys if you aren’t able to be a decent mother, and he’s not able to be a decent father. And the same goes for guys.

  • invalid-0

    I feel truly sad for you to have grown up in a situation like that. Abuse is horrible, and the effects are felt throughout one’s life. I hope your life today is filled with meaning and people who love you.

    Population increase is not the sole explanation for the increase in sexually-transmitted diseases and abortion. Disease has always existed, but it’s undeniable that it increases in a society that has let down its standards regarding sexual behaviors, i.e., more sexual behaviors are occurring that people previously would have thought twice about. No, unrestrained sex was not occurring on the massive scale that it is today, because there were societal taboos against it and people felt restrained by those taboos to a great extent. But when those taboos were removed, primarily in the 1960s (though the trend began earlier than that), then the flood gates opened up. The point being: Yes, in times past many people would slip into some hidden spot to have sex; but today the taboos are gone, so people who previously would have thought twice about it don’t bother to think at all!

    The “act of love” you refer to is only an act of love if it is between two people who truly love one another (versus just raw sexual attraction). If they don’t love one another and/or have a deep and abiding commitment to one another, then it’s just sex on the level of animals. What lifts it from the level of pure animalistic behavior is the relationship between the people involved in the act. Within a loving, permanent relationship, it becomes something wonderful, not just for the two people involved, but for the society as a whole, because then at least this couple won’t be burdening society with STDs or irresponsible pregnancies.

    As sad as your situation was, there are also stories of people whose mothers almost aborted them but at the last minute decided not to, and the surviving child is glad of it. Abortion is another step toward considering ourselves to be nothing more than animals. The thinking is that we’re only animals anyway, so kill the baby, which is just a glob of tissue. When we go all the way down that slippery slope, we will find ourselves living in a society where life is worthwhile only for a select few.

  • invalid-0

    I have never picketed an abortion clinic. However, if people believe that a law is dreadfully wrong, in this nation we have the right to dissent. If you value your civil rights, you should applaud that people are able to picket abortion clinics without being picked up by the gestapo. You may not agree with them, but boy oh boy you better be all for their freedom to do so. Because next time around, it may be YOU wanting to picket something or other.

    Society is all about living up to the expectations of others. That’s why we have laws. Those are expectations. We live up to or fail to live up to expectations of others all day long everyday. It’s inescapable.

    If I decide on a course in my life, I have to be willing to face your criticism of my choice. That’s called maturity. Ok, you don’t agree, so you criticize my choice. That’s your right. But I also have the same right. All this stuff about judging and not judging is just a smokescreen for people to hide their bad behaviors behind. What we cannot judge are a person’s motives or read their minds. However, we can look squarely at their behaviors and draw some conclusions. The person in question (the female pastor who aborted her child) says she is a Christian. That means Jesus has some relevance in her life. Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” I.e., you look at what they do, and that tells you who/what they are.

    As to fathers paying for children, absolutely they should do so. But the whole problem could be averted if that foolish woman didn’t have sex with any guy other than a loving, responsible husband. It all gets back to responsibility in the first place. Why does no one want to look at that? I’ll tell you why. This society wants to be free to have sex wherever with whomever with no consequences attached.

    Regarding your never meeting loving Christians, it appears to me that your definition of love is letting people do whatever they wish and just pick up the pieces later. It is said by some that abortion can be the loving thing to do. Let me suggest that saying NO to irresponsible ideas is also a loving act. Telling someone the truth can be an act of love. Christians are the biggest sponsors of charity organizations going. Christians support orphanages. Christians take orphaned children into their homes. Christians feed and clothe the poor of this world. Christians counsel the troubled. Christians go to third world countries to teach the inhabitants how to grown their own food, how to make a living, and they bring them medical aid. You meet kind, loving people in your daily walk every single day without knowing they are Christians because they aren’t advertising the fact. That nice little lady at the grocery store who smiled and said hello was a Christian and you didn’t know it. She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. This rampant hatred of Christians based on foolish lies is epidemic. If you want to hate Christians, so be it, but at least check your facts.

  • invalid-0

    Jesus’ comment is not literally about drowning someone. He is saying the person would have been better off to have died before he committed a loathesome act that would condemn him for eternity. The reference is to the person leading children astray. I understand the passage to be saying that leading children astray is especially grievous to God. If you want to go astray yourself, so be it. But watch out about how you influence children. Leading children astray into sexual promiscuity is something this whole society is guilty of.

  • harry834

    Regardless of when problems occur, before or after the act, they need to be addressed. You can condemn a person over and over again if it makes you feel better, but they still need to tackle the problem and going back in time is not possible.

    "Well they should have thought about that before"

    Keywords: all in past tense. Past is past, can't solve problems there. So need to tackle them in the present, whether people like you are supportive or not.

    Abortion providers, supportive friends and family will help the person in this difficult time while you are still spitting vile over what "should have been thought of" in the past.

    **

    Another note: if you're serious about preventing unplanned pregnancies, then I hope your encouraging your fellow pro-lifers to support birth control, and I mean more than just sterilization (which seems to be all some of these commentors know). Support pills, condoms, diaphragms, the whole nine yards. And make sure kids learn about this in school. You can complain, spit, and condemn – or you can support a type of responsibility that WILL be accepted in this "sex-saturated society".

  • invalid-0

    To:Anonymous,author of the “to give me a break” Thank you for your courageous,brutally honest letter.You make many excellent points & show how an abortion can save a child from growing up unloved & unwanted,that abortion can truly be a moral & ethical choice.I hope that you’ve been able to find some measure of peace of mind in spite the difficult circumstances of your life.Again,thank you for your heartfelt & incisive missive.

  • invalid-0

    My comments are based on this whole discussion being completely upside down and backwards. No, we can’t go back in time. The problem is huge and pervasive, but you aren’t going to fix it by performing more and more abortions and spending more and more money to cure all the STDs that currently exist and new ones that will inevitably come about. In this sexually permissive society, you will end up with entire hospitals devoted to nothing but abortions. How disgusting is that? Trillions and trillions of dollars will constantly be spent on finding cures for STDs. Instead of curing the STD once one has it, why not just avoid it in the first place? Instead of an abortion, how about staying out of bed unless you’re in a responsible monogamous relationship? As to birth control, there is plenty available here in the USA. But that’s not my argument. I am saying that abortion on a huge scale and skyrocketing STDs are sure signs that this grand experiment in free sex outside of committed marriage has been a total failure, and society is paying the price. The only answer is to face reality and head back toward monogamy. It will take time, but we have to start somewhere.

    As to being a pro-lifer, what I actually am is pro-common-sense and pro-reality. There is no arguing with biology, folks. In the real world, if you have multiple sex partners, you get STDs. You have sex, you make a baby. If stating the obvious is vile, then so be it.

  • invalid-0

    Abortion could save everyone from all pain and suffering which every human being inevitably encounters in life. By that logic, we should abort all babies and end the suffering of human beings on earth forever.

  • invalid-0

    In reality, no one has complete control over their own bodies. This extreme autonomy you espouse does not serve society well and isn’t even possible. Just because millions of women believe they are doing the morally correct thing, that doesn’t mean they are. I live in the real world. If I sit on a rickety chair, it’s not going to hold me up no matter what I believe about it. If I go out in traffic, I’m going to get smushed by a car, no matter what I believe about it. I understand that a lot of people think morality is relative, but that is just a self-serving cover for doing whatever one wishes to do. In addition to right and wrong, there are the categories “wise” and “unwise,” which are the basis for right and wrong. It is unwise for society to engage in wanton unmarried sex because it leads to skyrocketing disease, abortions, single mothers with too many kids (oh I know, they should have aborted them), and kids growing up in dysfunctional homes. All of that is unwise and harmful for society, thus it is wrong. But to admit that it’s wrong is to automatically restrict one’s own behaviors, and that’s a no no in this permissive society.

  • harry834

    95% of people have sex before marriage, right? Your prescription is telling all these people to "wait or else"? What if people don't want to get married?

    And with available, reversible birth control we don't have to. But we need to get people who block the way to stop doing that:

    The Congress and President has to stop throwing money at failing abstinence-only programs and start to fund comprehensive sex ed that teaches the sexually active to practice safely.

    Pharmacists need to stop blocking birth control.

    People need to stop spreading lies about condoms not working. They are 10,000 times safer against HIV than not wearing one. You can wag your fingers all you want, but when a sexually active person wears a condom, that's responsibility in my book – with 98% effectiveness against pregnancy.

    Teaching people to be afraid of sex isn't the answer. Abstinence-only ed teaches shame and lies, and kids have sex anyway – but are doing it with less inclination to wear condoms.

    Another fallacy: you claim that our "free sex" society is proof that sex outside marriage doesn't work. There is no silver bullet to the STD and pregnancy issues, but in varoius places there have been decreases. You can't control every variable completely, but you can make wiser policies:

    Personal responsibility: if you choose to wait, good, if not use condom and birth control. Many different varieties: pills, diaphragms, spermicides, depo-vera, etc. And don't forget emergency contraception, just in case. Get tested. Be honest with your partner. Talk about birth control. Don't be pushed around by your partner. Only let them touch you in ways you like.

    Communal responsibility: Have free condoms at your health clinic, and at your house parties.

    Government responsibility: Stop funding abstinence-only. Start funding comprehensive which teaches the various options you have to express sexuality chosen (not forced) abstinence, birth control, condoms, touching each other with clothes on, masturbation alone, masturbating your partner (no pregnancy, but some STD risk, but still less than intercourse), and the importance of safer sex whether you engage in gay sex or straight sex.

    Of course this requires accepting once and for all that sex is a part of who we are and what our bodies can do. We are sexually inclined to feel and bond long before we created such institutions like marriage, which were originally oppressive control mechanisms, forced by families, but thankfully have become more chosen.

    Freedom to choose sex or no sex, hand holding or consensual hand groping, marriage or committment without marriage, or a relationship that nourishes for a while, emotionally and physically, and then we both accept when it runs its course. And of course all the experiences in between. These are the ups and downs, the rhythms and course of life, in the sexual sense. And that is part of our humanity. A wise society will acknoeledge this, as a whole, will prepare people to live the lives they choose with safe measures to cut risk with 98% or 10,000 time effectiveness.

  • invalid-0

    To Anonymous on December 8, 2007 – 12:25am

    Thank you for responding to my post.

    “Look at your own life before you begin casting stones and throwing scripture at another person.” Also, the passage from Matthew.

    How did you know you were responding to a sinner?? You are correct, I am a sinner. However, there’s a huge difference between being a repentant sinner and barreling down the path to Hell, trying to drag many along with you. All the while hiding behind the title of “Reverend” & a Roman collar.

    “This is what free will is all about and it Is God’s Law.”

    Free will is a choice given to each person. To choose good. Or to choose evil. Choosing evil ultimately leads to the destruction of the soul. The choice belongs to each of us with free will.

    Jesus Christ is the good doctor who came to save sinners. The cure requires first the admission of guilt and the firm desire to amend ones life. Not creating a false morality to suit ones own tastes.

    From John 8, (the woman caught in adultery):
    10 Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?
    11 Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more.

    Jesus’ wish is that the woman caught in adultery “sin no more”. Notice that He doesn’t say, “I’m okay, you’re okay…live and let live…can‘t we all just get along?” Challenging words. Not the poison of your supposed “reverend”.

    PTM

  • invalid-0

    Hello Harry 834,
    “Isn’t their selfishness in the act of denying women safe access to a medical procedure done by a medical professional, instead of a quack in a back alley?”

    How do you see selfishness in sacrificing time & treasure to try to save innocent human life? Abortion remains legal and widely available throughout the USA. Women looking for ways to procure abortion are hardly without options, sadly.

    PTM

  • invalid-0

    “Wait or else” ?? Or else what? If they don’t wait, the consequence is most likely an STD and/or an unwanted pregnancy. In the real world, sex leads to pregnancy; sex with multiple partners leads to STDs. I didn’t invent that reality.

    All the rest you expressed is just a rehash of the same liberal philosophy which I’ve already addressed. Time will tell whose philosophy had merit.

  • invalid-0

    If you’re not taking any liberties with reality, then personally, I’d like to know what color the sky is in your world.

    .

    You say that sex leads to pregnancy as if it’s an assured fact.

    .

    You say that sex with multiple partners leads to STDs as if it’s an assured fact.

    .

    For someone using protection, the chance of them getting pregnant while having sex is far less than the chance they will be in a terrible car crash while commuting to work, or the chance that they will get food poisoning when they go out to eat, yet I don’t suppose that you recommend that they religiously avoid cars and restaurants. There’s really no damn good reason to stop doing something because there’s a minute chance something bad will happen. How can you expect people to take advice like that? It defies common sense (which you claim to hold in high esteem)… Despite the fact that there is a minute likelihood that those things will happen, we don’t say “If you drive to work, you will be in a car crash,” as if it was a fact, bound to happen.

    .

    As for your statement about STDs. Once again, No. You shouldn’t say this like it’s a hard and fast rule. It’s misleading and it’s nothing but fear-mongering, just like your statements about sex and pregnancies. Quick biology lesson: No matter what you’ve heard from Westboro Baptist, STDs do not spontaneously arise out of nowhere to punish you for being slutty. You can only get an STD if you engage in sexual activity with an infected partner. Someone who sleeps around carefully (getting tested, using protection) is much better off than than the person who’s spouse isn’t honest with them. Marriage does not guarantee that honesty, and it doesn’t cure/prevent STDs. Caution and/or honesty outside of marriage works just as well or better for preventing STDs.

    .

    We need to stop telling people they should shoot for the relationship goals that are ‘moral’ in our own personal opinion, and we need to start giving them the agency and the knowledge they need to responsibly keep themselves safe.

    .

    And as a final point, you seem to have this funny idea that people in caring, supportive and committed monogamous relationships would always welcome a baby. 17% of abortions are acquired by women who are married and don’t want a child (or another one). Shame on them, they shouldn’t have been sleeping with their husbands.

    .

    Time will tell, indeed who’s philosophy has merit, but there’s already evidence from those places which have implemented it, that comprehensive education works better than shaming people while misrepresenting the facts to them.

  • invalid-0

    Once again, someone supporting the philosophy of: “I want everyone to be free to have all the sex they want whenever with whomever or whatever, so let’s construct a society and technology that makes that possible.” The reason we have STDs on planet earth is because people have engaged in sex with multiple partners. Yes, you only get an STD if you engage in sex with an infected person. Thank you for confirming the point I’ve been making. If he or she hadn’t engaged in sex with an infected person, he or she wouldn’t have the STD. If you hadn’t engaged in sex with him or her, you wouldn’t have it either. Although right now, since so many people have infections, our chances are higher of marrying a person with an STD, the chances go down over time if people confine themselves to monogamy. That’s just how it works. Want to get rid of STDs? Be monogamous. Do your part for the planet.

    As to married people not wanting a baby: Married people should welcome children or become sterilized the moment they want no more children.

    “Oh, but what if they want more children in the future, but just not right now?” That kind of thinking exemplifies a mindset that wants everything to be exactly the way the individual wants it to be all the time, similar to a child who wants what he wants when he wants it and is mad at anyone who tells him otherwise. That is the essence of self-absorption and an “It’s All About ME!” society.

  • invalid-0

    I still don’t see how you’re getting from “Having [I assume, unprotected] sex with an infected person means you’ll become infected” to “Having sex with multiple people means you’ll become infected.”

    .

    I think I explained the fallacy in your statement pretty well in my previous post, but as a recap, It is entirely possible to have responsible sex with numerous people and be equally as safe as you would be in a monogamous relationship. It makes little sense at all to make these dire proclamations about the fate of those who dare to be promiscuous (Read: people have more sex, or have it in a different way, than I, personally do).

    .

    It seems pretty obvious that, for whatever reason you don’t like sex, and don’t have a high opinion of the people who have the nerve to enjoy it. But like any other risky/pleasurable activity, it can be enjoyed responsibly without having to be avoided altogether.

    .

    Most people aren’t going to say it is particularly wise to fall into bed with a different stranger every night, just like most people aren’t going to tell you that binge drinking is a good idea, but none of this means that we all need to avoid recreational sex/alcohol completely, as you are apparently advocating. It merely means we should do these things responsibly.

    .

    And as for ‘trying to create construct a society and technology that makes [sexual/reproductive freedom] possible,’ … Well, yeah. It’s an pretty admirable goal, I think.

    .

    I mean, we’ve already constructed a society and a technology that makes it possible to, oh, say, carry out large scale construction and agriculture without reducing thousands to slaves (or virtually so) … I really don’t see the problem with wanting to improve our world and the quality of the lives we live in it using the available technology. People have been doing it for centuries.

    .

    And as for that last bit there, I shouldn’t even have to explain why it’s at least mildly disturbing that you think it’s perfectly kosher to say married couples who don’t wish to procreate (or procreate any further) should have to get permanently sterilized. It’s almost like you think the only point of marriage/sex is procreation.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you for stating your philosophy so clearly by using terms such as “recreational sex” which you appear to sanction. This of course is the bottom line for those who want our society to be one in which it is acceptable to engage in sex whenever wherever with whomever and whatever and however many. I believe that is utterly immoral and also dangerous for society. You see nothing wrong with it. Again, time will tell the story.

  • harry834

    "whenever wherever with whomever and whatever and however many"

    That's a lot of "evers" to make your point.

     

  • invalid-0

    Ah, but it makes the point quite well. There are those who truly feel compassionate for those they perceive as victims of various things. Some are victims, some really aren’t. But the point is, compassion is the motive; and however misguided it may be in a particular case, the caring they feel for others is to be respected. For instance, in giving money to a wino, he will just buy more wine. So that’s misguided compassion. The compassion itself, though, is laudable; it just needs to be redirected to where it can actually be of help. Many people in this abortion/birth control/STD debate are guided by compassion for those they consider to be victims in need of help. I respect their concern for others, but disagree concerning abortion etc. On the other hand, there are those who are in it for the ride. What they want is to be able to have sex with that cow over there in the field and not have anyone criticize them for it. When a person’s thinking has sunk to that level, what else is there to say? And then I really believe there are those who are in it for the money.

  • invalid-0

    You’re welcome. It always helps tho have one’s views clear, in a debate. Although you seem to have misunderstood mine, despite how clearly I outlined them. Your “multiple ever” tirade is not at all what I have been saying– ever, as the case would be. It’s kind of sad you can’t seem to think about anything other than sex with cows and orgies when someone says ‘recreational sex.’ If I thought you were doing anything except trying to goad people, I’d suggest a therapist. With imaginings like that, it’s no wonder you think recreational sex is wrong.

    .

    You’ve also done a wonderful job of dodging the entire point of my last two posts almost entirely. Where is your supported contention that sex as I describe it is especially dangerous and bound to cause the ruin of society? Or do you concede the point that it is safe? It’s OK if you don’t like something, but you should learn to differentiate thinking that it’s morally wrong and knowing whether it’s something that is damaging to the world we actually live in. Non-sequiturs don’t get us anywhere.

    .

    But, as long as we’re getting off topic, here’s some elaboration on what my stake is in this debate, because you need the clarification, and I enjoy clarifying.

    .

    There is plenty of room to have compassion for people who have been hurt by this sociey’s attitude about sex. As you can clearly see if you’ve been in this debate long enough, from the frequency with which abortion debates get sidetracked into discussions like the one we’re having, now, the issues are very connected.

    .

    People end up vilified for their reproductive choice on a sliding scale based on how slutty people think they are. Everyone brings up the single women first, no one wants to kick off a debate lambasting wedded mothers, and some even give rape victims a free pass in their estimation, as if it was the sex that mattered the most and not the fetus they purport to care so much about.

    .

    People start controversy about plans to distribute Birth Control in schools where condoms are already provided.
    I’m not even going to get into the way things like purity balls and our girls-gone-wild culture both devalue women and make them see themselves as commodities.

    .

    What I am working for is a society where women have agency when it comes to sex. True agency, and the freedom to say no to both being sexualized by pop culture pressures and to being constrained by trad culture pressures. A society, in short, where we stop thinking that a woman’s supply of morality is located between her legs.

    .

    And of course, a society that respects that agency, and knows that using force or coercion is wrong when it comes to sex. A society that doesn’t judge a rape victim’s veracity on whether she was ‘pretty enough’ to be raped.

    .

    I have a lot of compassion for the people who are hurt in all these ways and more by our current society. Changing it is, as I said, an admirable goal.

  • http://www.condomman.com invalid-0

    I’m all for open and honest discussion, but when someone says that people of another opinion are responsible for the destruction of society and that they should be drowned with a millstone around their neck, I don’t think I’m reaching by calling them hateful.

  • invalid-0

    That person was quoting Jesus, who said that it would be better for a person to die before he does things that harm children. I really don’t think the person himself/herself meant they wanted people to drown. As for the destruction of society, I do think that the path society is on will lead to its destruction as a place many will ultimately wish to live. I don’t think society is looking at things very long range to see where the slippery slope will ultimately lead. It may lead somewhere that some consciously want to go, but where a lot of people will be unpleasantly surprised to find themselves.

  • invalid-0

    My reference to cows is valid. I wasn’t talking about you. My point is, that may not be where your mind is, but it’s absolutely where an awful lot of other people’s minds are. Having lived on this planet for awhile, I absolutely see a trend working toward “freedom” to have sex whenever with whatever (etc.), even including with minors. For instance, an American psychology journal published an article (maybe more than one, don’t recall) stating that molestation is not necessarily harmful to children. As disgusting as that assertion is to most of us, I recognized it as the first foot in the door toward eventually normalizing sexual relationships between adults and minors. You may not see that trend, but I definitely do. You see a strictly women’s rights/human rights issue in all of this, but I see something else in addition to that.

    Also, I am expressing honest opinions, not engaging in tirades or goading people whatsoever. “Recreational sex” is a phrase that sounds fairly immoral to a lot of people. Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t see themselves as immoral either, even though a stranger could not enter those cities without the townsmen literally beating down the door to have sex with him (and please don’t bother with the idea that their actual sin was in being unwelcoming to strangers. They wanted to rape the strangers.). Whether you believe that story or not, it does show that even back in ancient times, people were aware of the depths to which mankind is capable of sinking. My contention is that mankind is inclined to sink more and more to that sort of level when sexual taboos are removed. And as they gradually go along, the conviction of there being anything wrong with it is also removed. You see my comments about cows as extreme, but when the day comes (as it will if we continue on this course) that bestiality is seen as something not so bad, and when you yourself try to stand up and say, “Hey, that’s disgusting!” they will call you bigoted and narrowminded. And you will wonder how society could have sunk to such depths.

    Discussing these matters is not off topic in a discussion of abortion and STDs, because it all comes from the same place within people. Some may say, “Well, I draw the line here or there.” But when one standard is lowered, then what happens is the next standard on the ladder begins to gradually be lowered. That’s just how it works. Anyone who has been around very long knows that. I’ve witnessed it occurring in my own lifetime. Some see it as liberating. I see it as quite the opposite.

    Also, I am not dodging anyone’s points. Oh sure, maybe technology will rise to the level that STDs are no longer a threat. Maybe they will come out with ultra-lightweight iron condoms that cannot break. Maybe everyone will be perfect in remembering to use them. Maybe all young girls can be put on birth control from about age 12. Maybe they will come out with birth control for boys too, so that they too can be put on it from about age 12. Maybe they will come out with birth control that once a girl takes it at age 12, she won’t ever need it again, until she wants to have children, at which time there will be another pill she can take that will permit her to have children for awhile. Then when she’s done with that, she takes another pill that renders her unable to get pregnant again. As to STDs, not so sure about how that will work, but most likely there will be a shot that prevents all of them, including those we don’t know about yet. So, in a such a world, people would be free to have all the recreational sex they want. If that appeals, then there really is nothing else to discuss. You think that’s a good idea. I don’t.

  • invalid-0

    You’re right about our views being too fundamentally different, and I’m not going to comment on the entire post here, because I’d mostly be saying things I’ve already said. It’s just the one thing about this reasoning that gets me is that it just sounds too much like the slippery slope fallacy. That if we start to say that it’s OK for consenting adults to do what they want with each other without shame or persecution, it’ll eventually be OK to rape children or cows. Or toasters, I suppose, eventually. It just doesn’t click for me.

  • invalid-0

    Your blanket statement, “…we should abort all babies and end the suffering of human beings on earth forever” you show you just didn’t get the the point. Abortion can’t solve all social ills, it wasn’t meant to do that and we pro choicers are realistic enough to know that. If the poster had been aborted, his/her parents just might have turned on another of their children and abused him/her.

  • invalid-0

    I am grateful to Rev. Fowler for sharing her personal story. There are so many different reasons why someone may consider terminating a pregnancy. In my own life I have known friends and family members who have faced difficult decisions relating to: (1) devastating genetic disease in a fetus, (2) cancer diagnosis in a pregnant woman requiring treatment incompatible with pregnancy, and (3) pregnancy in a young girl who was sexually abused. Their decisions were complicated and intensely personal. We can all think about what we might do in one situation or another. We can even debate the morality of any particular option. But most people believe that when it comes down to it, the best person to make the decision is the woman herself — not her neighbor, not her pharmacist, certainly not a lawmaker. She is the only one who can fully understand and appreciate her unique life circumstances and her own religious beliefs. The fact is, there is a diversity of faith beliefs about pregnancy and reproductive health. In the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, we are working to protect religious freedom and the right of individual conscience while also trying to create a climate that fosters mutual respect and understanding rather than condemnation. In addition, we are working for measures that help prevent unintended pregnancy and foster good health for women and families — truly pro-life work. Kaye McSpadden, Pres, Indiana RCRC http://www.ircrc.org

  • invalid-0

    if we’re going to be going with this whole “slippery slope” philosophy, then i would like to point out that going backwards (ie. making abortion etc. illegal again), then it’s just a matter of time before someone decides that, hey, if women aren’t to be trusted to take care of their own reproductive systems, maybe they can’t be trusted to vote either. and hey, maybe they can’t be trusted to drive cars (there’s already a great female driver stereotype) either. or to choose their own husbands. maybe we should all just go back to the days when women made babies and the men took care of all the hard stuff.

    so it’s a slippery slope both ways. and you may look at what i just said and scoff “well that would never happen because XYZ.” but i look at what you said and i think it’s just as silly. and personally, the world you describe where no one has kids they don’t want and no one ever really gets sick (because, really, if STDs have been eradicated, i’m pretty sure just about everything else but the flu and common cold would be history as well) sounds like a pretty ideal place, what with the lack of child abuse and unwanted kids languishing in foster care and people living with and dying of AIDS and all.

  • invalid-0

    Not enough time has passed for anyone to declare the concept of a slippery slope a fallacy. Let’s wait 25-50 years and meet again here on this blog (maybe it will still be here?) and discuss what actually happened. Societal morals have been easing down a slippery slope right in front of my eyes for a period of time measured in decades. Thus, so far, the slope has been fairly slippery. What happens is that as things go down the slope, the feeling that they are wrong goes away with it, usually in the form of attacking those who think it’s wrong by calling them narrowminded bigots. The purpose of that is to silence them while the rest of society is being persuaded that what is happening on the slope is really perfectly fine and normal. The day will come when having sex with a toaster (as you suggested) might seem like a fun idea to people. They are already inventing robots to be sexual companions. That was in the news recently. Did you hear about it? I do ask you to not be so quick to dismiss the idea that one thing leads to another, and so it goes.

  • invalid-0

    The perfect world I was describing is not one I personally envision, but rather the UTOPIA that a lot of other people envision so that they will be free to engage in sex without any restraints of any kind. In their Utopia, there are no STD’s to worry about and no pregnancy except when desired. I don’t believe that day will ever come, but was just expressing what others who have posted seem to be reaching for. My own belief is that we were created to be in a permanent monogamous relationship with a loving spouse, that we function better in that relationship, and that it is the basic building block of society and is especially beneficial for the nurturing of children. However, I realize that in this fallen world, nothing is perfect. I also believe that sex has emotional ramifications, that it is a very powerful force emotionally for the bonding between two people. I don’t believe you can go from partner to partner unscathed and unaffected emotionally, especially not females. Pedophiles (such as NAMBLA) are currently working toward normalizing their perversion. They say that the only reason molestation harms children is because society tells children it is wrong; that if society didn’t tell children it is wrong, they would enjoy it and not feel shamed or harmed by it. That’s abhorrent to most sane people, but is that not the same argument being used in this forum to sanction “recreational sex?” I think so.

  • invalid-0

    Huh?

  • harry834

    we have to wait 25-50 years before we can allow consenting adults to touch each other…otherwise pedophilia, bestiality, and sex with toaster ovens will come

    You really are afraid of sex.

  • invalid-0

    i didn’t go and read every single one of these so forgive me if i repeat something.
    for me, it’s really hard to decide to be “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” i believe people should make their own decisions and choices…and i certainly believe there are certain cases where abortion is ok (albeit at a VERY early stage( or more preferably, the morning after pill) ), such as rape, incest, etc.
    although, i’ve come to realize more and more how people just don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. i’m 22 and i’ve been married for 2 1/2 years, and we are very careful when it comes to sex. i’m currently on birth control, but when we first used condoms, we were ABSOLUTELY CAREFUL. the thing is, when you have sex, you can create life. i feel like people don’t realize that anymore. i know that’s not what sex is entirely for, i very much enjoy a good tumble in bed =) but i know if i were to ever get pregnant, i’m taking responsibility for it, and we’re both in school living off loans!
    if you have the urge to have sex but don’t have protection, DON’T DO IT! jeez, you know you can get pregnant. i’ve been there and done that. it’s the hardest thing in the world to stop, but come on, use you rational thinking for a moment.
    we have an amazing and open sex life, but we’re also very smart about it!
    i can’t imagine the pain of the memory of having an abortion…my sister had two. I would be haunted forever.
    so that’s my position. it’s about personal responsiblity, and not some “personal responsibility in choosing to have an abortion.”
    it’s taking personal responsibility for your actions.

  • harry834

    "i certainly believe there are certain cases where abortion is ok (albeit at a VERY early stage( or more preferably, the morning after pill)"

    The "morning after pill" is emergency contraception and not the same thing as the abortion pill.

     

  • invalid-0

    Here we have a stark, textbook example of what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil.” This amoral woman is not satisfied with the extermination of her unborn child, conceived with a man whom she considered wholly unfit for fatherhood, but now she needs to pass on the lie that God Himself is pleased with the actions of those who make it their life’s work to destroy His most precious creation at its most innocent and vulnerable.

    May God have mercy on her soul.

  • invalid-0

    i do not understand how anne fowler can pretend that an abortion in the 2nd pregnancy was some unavoidable moral conundrum. she made a conscious choice to have sex with a man she did not even consider to be a worthwhile partner (apart from satisfying her sexual desires). this wasn’t even an issue of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother. this was a “conundrum” born out of poor personal choices, and a desire to escape the cost of those choices at the expense of the life of a child.

    most abortions, like this one, are not even close to medical necessity. and i’m going to quote mother theresa’s unassailable quote: it is a poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. abortion, in this case, is a moral choice, but the moral grounding is not God’s, as fowler wants you to believe–it is the morality of personal freedom, the ability to live as freely as one can while avoiding the consequences and ripple effect it has on others. because we link ourselves to nothing greater than ourselves, we only see value in a person if they are able to assert their own value.

    we live in a fragmented world, where we have, to a great extent, isolated our ability to link choice to its actual consequences. we do not hate hitler because he murdered 6 million people, but because he murdered 6 million people he disagreed with. our society clearly has no problem murder if we can convince ourselves the victims have no personal freedom or rights to impinge upon. if we continue down this path, it is only a matter of time until other forms of murder come to roost in our culture. i believe some already have.

  • invalid-0

    Moral saddness.

  • invalid-0

    “At another point, a few years later, I did have an abortion. I was a single mother, working and pursuing a path to ordination in the Episcopal Church.”

    Huh?

    So clearly, even back in the 70’s ECUSA/TEC had abandoned any pretense of requiring those on the ordination track to behave in accordance with Scriptural teachings regarding sexual sin.

    It is absolutely confounding to me as a lay person that someone who believes she has a call to ordination from God can be so far from Him that she thinks – as a mother no less- that it is fine to fornicate with someone (what a horrible example for her own daughter even if she wasn’t about to take on the responsibility of a flock).

    Yes, of course we all sin. But, the problem I’m having with this article is that there seems to be no acknowledgement of sin at all. Fornication wasn’t the problem, the unwanted pregnancy was.

    And this is a teacher of God’s Word???

  • invalid-0

    And this is a teacher of God’s Word???

    More like a mouthpiece for Moloch.

  • http://profiles.aim.com/kcsorci invalid-0

    What a wonderful read that was! It is just lovely that Rev. Fowler would share this story of her journey with us. I believe that oftentimes it takes personal life experience in order to understand that abortion can be the most moral choice a woman can make. Bless you and keep up the good work as you are surely an inspiration for strong women everywhere!

  • invalid-0

    The author of this essay displays either an incredible level of unconsciousness, or an equivalent level of denial, from either of which she appears not to have grown spiritually or psychologically, when she writes:

    I was asked to speak … on a Clergy Panel, with the theme of “Abortion as a Moral Choice.” I wondered skeptically who would attend such a panel, but to my surprise, the room was packed with people – abortion providers and other clinic workers … eager and grateful to hear their work affirmed, to hear religious authorities assuring them that God was on their side!

    If she were even remotely qualified to serve as a priest in a Christian denomination she would, in the first instance, have had sufficient intellectual and spiritual discernment to recognize that every one of us wants to have our sins excused without the need to face them and amend our lives, and, in the second instance, would have learned that the same applied to her. Her continuing confusion (if not downright ignorance) of what is moral, prominently displayed in this essay, makes fully manifest that she did not then, and does not now, have any such awareness.

    Blessings and regards

  • invalid-0

    I can’t speak for others, but for myself I feel sadness and loss of the life of that little unborn person. Thou shalt not kill isn’t hard to understand, especially when it’s your own child.

  • invalid-0

    I just want to say that I think you’re arguing your position very well. You speak clearly for many of us who feel the same way you do. I am an Episcopal priest and was appalled by Anne Fowler’s article. There are still some of us who can see the destructive consequences of so many people thinking they have a right to all the sex they want, as though that were a purely personal decision and didn’t affect anyone else. It’s just not the case, and I thank you for ably defending that point of view.

    PB+

  • invalid-0

    I wonder if it was RevFowler that I saw wearing the t-shirt… “Now that I’m out – I’m prochoice!”

  • harry834

    Given the free will and free choice, I don't think many of us would have sex every hour with every stranger we met. We have a lot of human motivations, and sex is just one of them.

    But these same people would probably be condemned anyway, because the times that they did have sex, were with unmarried partners, like how 95% of us do. Having sex before marriage isn't the same as having sex every hour, with no thought.

    In fact, since most of us are going to have sex before we even think about the tremendous committment of marriage, better to know how to have sex in a way that is safer, that values the importance of getting tested, that values being honest with one's partner.

    Abstinence-till-marriage requires us to learn little about sex, just avoid it. Sex education lets us know what to do if we choose, and clearly many of the 95% will choose other things to do on a Saturday besides sex, if given the free choice. Our desire for sex does not exclude our desire for other things, including the virtues that tha abstinence-only crowd would agree with.

  • harry834

    We are more likely to talk about or think about sex, in positive and negative emotion, than actually go out and do it ourselves. I hope you folks don't think that merely talking openly and positively about masturbation, watching each other masturbate, pussy-eating, anal fingering, cock-sucking, whipping, butt-fuking, office sex, pearl necklaces, cum-shots, etc, etc, etc is the same as actually doing these things. Talking isn't doing. And information is educational.

  • invalid-0

    But I will say: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

  • invalid-0

    How exactly is it that a so-called woman, with a two year old daughter, wanting to be a so-called priest, is having sex with a man she would never marry?

    And 34 years later, she not only still can’t conceive that she had any other choice than to abort her child, but she encourages others to follow her lead.

    This is what so-called priests are teaching?

  • invalid-0

    What a sad excuse for a priest. To be fornicating w/unfit males while in training to be a priest is absolutely unbelievable. Now I know we all falter, but at least we can have to good sense to realize our mistakes, repent and seek forgiveness. This “woman” voices no remorse or indication at all that what she did was morally wrong. And who had to pay the price for her fornication? Why the innocent unborn baby had to pay with his/her very life. I sure hope that was one good orgasm b/c it’s going to cost you, “Reverend.”

  • invalid-0

    While I agree with Rev. Fowler that under some circumstances abortion can be the most responsible, and — yes — moral, choice, I found her pallid account somewhat disturbing. Perhaps if she had had more space in which to develop her reasons and feelings, she would have come across as more understandable and thus more sympathetic.

    However, the viciousness of some of the comments directed against her are easily the ugliest and most immoral aspect of this article. I’m sure some of these commenters consider themselves quite pious and moral, but their hardness and, in some cases, sex-obsessiveness certainly testify to the contrary.

    Rev. Fowler, I admire your honesty and courage. I hope you have not exposed yourself to harassment from what appear to be a few mentally unstable individuals.

  • invalid-0

    Perhaps if she had had more space in which to develop her reasons and feelings, she would have come across as more understandable and thus more sympathetic.

    I think Ms. Fowler developed her reasons quite well: Baby #2 wasn’t going to be convenient, and anyway the sperm provider wasn’t fit for more than a casual hookup. What more reason does the modern woman need to extinguish the life within her?

    As for her feelings, she made those crystal clear as well: no remorse, no regret. She came out just fine, after all, and as we can see in this gasp of anodyne Newspeak, it’s no longer a matter of choice for God Himself is on the side of those who exterminate unborn life.

    I don’t think you will get any of Ms. Fowler’s critics here to claim a sinful life, anonymous, but neither will any of us be so desperate for validation of our sins as to claim them as virtues, nor will we dare to teach that they are acts blessed by God. That this “priest” does so is to the eternal shame of herself and the pitiful excuse of her “church.”

  • invalid-0

    Thank you for sharing your story. Often I forget, in the current climate here in the U.S, that Christianity is not in fact about rabid seething hatred. You are a beautiful person and I will look kinder upon those who wear a cross now, knowing some of them could be just like you.

  • invalid-0

    The phrase that jumped out at me was…

    “To talk theologically about women’s right to choose is to talk about justice, equality, health and wholeness, and respect for the full humanity and autonomy of every woman.”

    Well, not so much for the ones still in the womb, right reverend?

  • invalid-0

    The pro-choice/pro-life argument goes to the issue of civil rights. If there must be a legal or civil or moral contest between whose rights are paramount: my rights as a fully-grown fully-conscious fully-feeling person/citizen/woman, or, the rights of the tiny human life beginning within me, within MY body, then the only botton-line answer, for me, is that my rights must take absolute precedence. As an adult citizen in a democratic progressive society, I must have full dominion, choice, and governance over reproductive decisions which directly affect MY BODY, MY LIFE, and MY FUTURE. To cede these rights to an other outside of myself, is to have my personhood, my physical being, my very essence, be enslaved by religious zelotry, regressive politics, oppressive third-world status, and to the notion that I be commandeered as a reproductive vehicle. This constitutes the denial of my personal freedom and autonomy, of my personal physical jurisdiction over my own body, and of my civil rights, which for me is equivalent to unjustified imprisonment, coercion, and suppression — totally unacceptable in a “free” society.

    Why aren’t the “pro-lifers” fighting against the death penalty? Where is their respect for life, there? Why aren’t they pacifists, and against war? Where is their consistency? They seem to care far more passionately about protecting the microscopic cellular beginnings of life within a woman, than about the woman herself, or about the killing of fully-birthed, fully-grown fully-conscious fully-feeling human beings in war or by capital punishment. They also seem to care little about what happens to the unwanted lives who are not aborted: how many pro-lifers adopt so many unwanted children? I ask pro-lifers to quit their hypocrisy and look hard at reality, and deeply at the question of what it is to be a woman in a democratic society.

  • invalid-0

    Many pro-life activists are active in causes for abolishing the death penalty and against unjust wars. Many are even non-religious (http://www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html). In any case, the hypocrisy of any group (even if it was to the level you perceive) does not serve as a rebuttal or make your argument somehow valid.
    The pro-life argument boils down to this: the tiny life even you acknowledge inside of you deserves equal rights. As no human being has the right to enslave you or take your life, neither do you have the right to do the same.
    The anti-abortion movement takes its moral patrimony from the venerable anti-slavery movement. Many of us hope and/or pray that a generation from now abortion will be as abhorrent as slavery is.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve heard pro lifers try to link their movement with the civil rights movement (when was the last time pro life protestors were attacked with fire hoses and police dogs?), but now you are trying to claim kinship with abolitionists?

    How arrogant to do so. And how ridiculous to equate abortion with slavery in the first place.

    The fetus is not and cannot be equal with the woman carrying it. Any attempts to give such rights to fetuses is unconstitutional, and any court in the land (no matter how packed with “strict constructionist” judges) would find it unconsitutional. The attempt to do this in Colorado is merely opening up a big can of legal worms.