On the Fall of Roe

  1. If you have received an abortion, no one should ever make you feel shame for that. You are beloved and cherished by God. You don't need to "receive God's forgiveness" for that abortion as if it were a heinous act. I trust that you made the best decision that made the most sense in your circumstances. You should have the right to do so, and God did not turn Their back on you or lose affection for you when your abortion happened.
  2. The decision to have an abortion is best made through communal discernment rather than government intervention, ideally in conversation with a healthcare provider and (if you desire) a spiritual advisor.
  3. Some people in some faith systems believe that personhood and ensoulment begin at conception and that any attempt to end that life constitutes murder. It makes sense that those people would strongly feel that abortion should not be legal.
  4. I am not one of those people. I can't confidently say when personhood begins and ensoulment happens, but I have long doubted it's at conception. I know that different sects of Jews and different sects of Christians have come to very different conclusions on that question over the millennia. Anyone who states, "The Bible is clear," is admitting, "I haven't thought very deeply about this issue."
  5. I do believe that pregnancy and the possibility of conceiving and birthing a human being should not be handled glibly or lightly. Abortions performed to promote racism, sexism, ableism, and eugenics are evil. Abortion used as sex selection or family planning takes too lightly the seriousness of what it is to conceive and hold a potential human person.
  6. But requiring others to behave by the religious beliefs of others is contrary to the values of a liberal democracy. That's what happens, however, when a government asks pregnant people to sacrifice their health and bodily autonomy due to the beliefs of a minority of some faith traditions.
  7. Moreover, the least effective way to reduce abortions is by criminalizing abortion. Criminalizing abortion will mortally harm (mostly marginalized) pregnant people while still allowing those with power and privilege to continue receiving abortions with little to no consequence.
  8. Criminalizing abortion also demonstrates a fundamental failure to understand people's reproductive needs and the complexities of pregnancy, viability, and miscarriage.
  9. Rather, those who desire to see fewer abortions should tirelessly seek methods that have actually been proven to work:
  10. Comprehensive, sex-positive sex education
  11. Easy access to contraception
  12. Affordable medical care
  13. Paid family leave
  14. Raising the minimum wage
  15. Increased child welfare or tax benefits
  16. The Pro-Life movement has irretractably tied itself to racism and misogyny.
  17. While many of the adherents of the Pro-Life movement today are unaware of those attachments, they are nonetheless pawns in the politics of keeping white, straight, cis men in power and further harming communities of color, impoverished people, and anyone who can give birth.
  18. While the Christian Right's Pro-Life's theocratic agenda has saved theoretical persons (again, in some people's faith systems), it has caused actual, measurable harm in actual lives through the political allegiances it has made—namely the GOP. The Pro-Life movement embraced White Supremacy, sexual predators, misogyny, and false-history and then slapped God's name on it and called it holy, Third Commandment be damned. Therefore countless people will continue to suffer in poverty, disease, or prison due to the decisions of the "Party of Personal Responsibility." And, to reiterate, much of that has been made possible through multiple generations of powerful racist rhetoric and policy.
  19. Moreover, by successfully overturning Roe v. Wade without advocating for health care, welfare, and incarceration reform or social policies that are demonstrably pro-children, pro-family, and pro-parent, the Pro-Life Movement has shown itself to be either woefully stupid or immensely evil.
Anthony Parrott

Anthony Parrott

Washington, DC