Roe v. Wade Anniversary: Primer on Theological Principles
U.S. Newswire
16 Jan 16:30

For Roe v. Wade 30th Anniversary Coverage: Primer on Theological Principles Underlying Religious Support for Choice

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a primer on theological principles underlying religious support for choice, released today by Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: As the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches, President Bush's proclamation for "National Sanctity of Human Life" Day has obscured the real differences between the pro-life and pro-choice positions. Pro-life organizations such as the National Conference of Catholics Bishops want to deprive women of the ability to make decisions about their reproductive life and their family, including using family planning. Pro-choice organizations such as the Presbyterian Church (USA), Episcopal Church, the General Board of Church and Society and the Women's Division of the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and Reform and Conservative Jewish congregations and rabbis want to safeguard the fundamental constitutional protection for abortion rights.

To correct the misinformation that is being circulated, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice offers this primer on Biblical and theological principles underlying religious support for reproductive choice.

Stewardship. Genesis tells us that we are created in God's image and that with that gift comes the responsibility for "...every living thing that moves upon the earth" (1:27-28). It follows that, as moral agents, women have the God-given responsibility to make decisions about the course of action that seems to them most responsible in cases of unwelcome pregnancy.

Free will. Created in God's image, we are endowed with the ability to make moral choices. This ability is the very basis of an individual's dignity and autonomy.

Personhood. The Bible's portrait of personhood centers on the woman and the man who unquestionably bear the image of God and live in responsible relation to God.

The sanctity of life. All religions revere life. It is because we believe in the sanctity of all human life that we are sensitive to the effects of an unwanted pregnancy on women and families. We work toward and pray for a world in which every child is wanted, loved, and cared for.

Respect. The Bible places full responsibility for procreation in the hands of the parents. Requiring a woman to complete a pregnancy against her will devalues motherhood and shows lack of respect for women.


Click here for the response of NPRC.