Is abortion sacred?

Is abortion sacred?

Jia Tolentino writes:

Twenty years ago, when I was thirteen, I wrote an entry in my journal about abortion, which began, “I have this huge thing weighing on me.” That morning, in Bible class, which I’d attended every day since the first grade at an evangelical school, in Houston, my teacher had led us in an exercise called Agree/Disagree. He presented us with moral propositions, and we stood up and physically chose sides. “Abortion is always wrong,” he offered, and there was no disagreement. We all walked to the wall that meant “agree.”

Then I raised my hand and, according to my journal, said, “I think it is always morally wrong and absolutely murder, but if a woman is raped, I respect her right to get an abortion.” Also, I said, if a woman knew the child would face a terrible life, the child might be better off. “Dead?” the teacher asked. My classmates said I needed to go to the other side, and I did. “I felt guilty and guilty and guilty,” I wrote in my journal. “I didn’t feel like a Christian when I was on that side of the room. I felt terrible, actually. . . . But I still have that thought that if a woman was raped, she has her right. But that’s so strange—she has a right to kill what would one day be her child? That issue is irresolved in my mind and it will eat at me until I sort it out.”

I had always thought of abortion as it had been taught to me in school: it was a sin that irresponsible women committed to cover up another sin, having sex in a non-Christian manner. The moral universe was a stark battle of virtue and depravity, in which the only meaningful question about any possible action was whether or not it would be sanctioned in the eyes of God. Men were sinful, and the goodness of women was the essential bulwark against the corruption of the world. There was suffering built into this framework, but suffering was noble; justice would prevail, in the end, because God always provided for the faithful. It was these last tenets, prosperity-gospel principles that neatly erase the material causes of suffering in our history and our social policies—not only regarding abortion but so much else—which toppled for me first. By the time I went to college, I understood that I was pro-choice. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.