Sarah Palin pleased fans and angered foes with her speech to the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, calling herself a "frontier feminist" and saying, "choosing life may not be the easiest path, but it's always the right path . . . God sees a way where we cannot, and He doesn't make mistakes."
Meanwhile, an Arizona nun was "automatically excommunicated" for agreeing with a Catholic hospital's ethics committee's decision to allow an abortion to save a mother's life. "While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child," Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix said in a statement.
Can you be a feminist and oppose abortion in all circumstances? Can you be a person of faith and support abortion in some circumstances?
Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham on May 17, 2010 10:41 AM
It is precisely because life and parenthood are so precious that no woman should be coerced to carry a pregnancy to term. That is why many religious leaders support responsible procreation, prenatal care and intentional parenting.
Posted by Debra W. Haffner, on May 20, 2010 10:19 PM
An aborted female baby is the victim of a false faith or of faithlessness to the truth. A feminism that rejects the rights of unborn woman is a false and wicked faith and discounts at least some women.
Posted by John Mark Reynolds, on May 20, 2010 6:15 PM
Pro-life feminists believe that the best way for a woman to defend her own dignity is to defend the dignity of each and every human person, including the one that grows within her womb. And they reject the false dichotomy of abortion-centric feminism that says respect for human dignity is a zero-sum game in which a woman can win only if her unborn child loses.
Posted by Colleen Carroll Campbell, on May 19, 2010 12:52 PM
Individuals involved in the situation about abortion must be allowed to make their own moral choices. That position is, ultimately, a feminist position -- one that respects women's agency and their ability to make moral decisions. It is also, ultimately, a position that is comfortable within my faith tradition.
Posted by Pamela K. Taylor, on May 19, 2010 10:13 AM
In the context of abortion, what is important to me is the intent, the motivation, behind the decision. The Hindu scriptures do not take an explicit position on abortion. Our ancient texts show considerable liberalism for women. Constraint, over the centuries, came primarily from the society.
Jewish law says that the pregnant mother's life takes precedence since her soul has already entered the world but once the baby begins to emerge there are two equal souls neither of which can supersede the other.
Christian doctrine usually insists upon saving the life of the unborn child, even if that means sacrificing the life of the mother. By contrast, Jewish law argues that the mother's life takes precedence in such cases, since the unborn child represents potential life, while the Mother is alive.
Posted by Jonathan D. Sarna, on May 18, 2010 12:44 PM
When we consider abortion within the context of a culture of life, it is important to understand that a culture of life ought to be a culture of whole life. It is a holistic spiritual morality. It is a culture of care for the lives of women, for children outside of the womb.
Posted by Valerie Elverton Dixon, on May 17, 2010 6:33 PM
Those who would deny women the right to moral autonomy, the ability to engage in moral reasoning about whether to continue a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion, develop their arguments based on assumptions of women's moral ineptitude.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on May 17, 2010 4:29 PM
We are all inconsistent; we all "fall short of the glory of G-d." Sarah Palin is "pro-life" yet supports capital punishment, blowing the dickens out of our "enemies," and sending any human being that G-d didn't create with a U.S. passport packing back to their g-dawful situation. What's so "pro-life" about that?
Palin calls herself a "frontier feminist," but she sounds more like a "Pat Robertson feminist." The two of them are guided solely by their unshakeable certainty about what God wants. The good news, in this regard, is an equality of the sexes; the bad news is that both sexes can be sadly and dangerously mistaken.
The issue here is not the morality of abortion. As it happens, I agree with the religious right that abortion is a moral issue. I simply do not agree that one faction's wickedly rigid definition of immorality should be translated into illegality.
Posted by Susan Jacoby, on May 17, 2010 12:01 PM
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