In a new column for the Huffington Post this week, two pro-abortion religious leaders called on people of faith to push support for abortion on demand in their congregations and communities.
Authors Nancy K. Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, and Marie Alford-Harkey, CEO of the Religious Institution, began their column by celebrating the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Texas abortion clinic regulations. The regulations protected women’s health and saved thousands of unborn babies’ lives by requiring abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards that legitimate medical facilities do.
Kaufman and Alford-Harkey called the Supreme Court decision a victory for women because the law restricted women’s access to abortion.
“We support abortion access because compassion demands it,” the two wrote.
But they said their pro-abortion victory at the Supreme Court was not enough. To many abortion activists, it is not enough that America is one of only a handful of countries that allows elective abortions for basically any reason after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Others include China, North Korea and Vietnam.
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They want women to have quick, easy access to abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy – without waiting periods or informed consent requirements that help to ensure that women have information about abortion risks and alternatives and time to consider them. They also want taxpayers to pay for abortions.
Kaufman and Alford-Harkey believe religious people can help the pro-abortion movement achieve those goals. They wrote:
From the compassionate spiritual care of chaplains at abortion clinics to the millions of lay people working to end abortion stigma, religious support goes largely unnoticed. This contributes to a widely held misconception that all people of faith and religious leaders oppose abortion access. As abortion provider Dr. Willie Parker observes in the documentary Trapped, “There are people who feel like having a faith identity and providing abortion care are mutually exclusive.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
As leaders of national faith-based organizations, we represent a largely overlooked contingent of people who support access to abortion because of—not in spite of—our faith. We believe that making moral decisions is a sacred responsibility and that we are called to make our own decisions, not to allow others to make them for us. Each of us deserves this respect and freedom. As individuals, our faith also calls us to care for and steward our own bodies, which we believe are gifts from God.
Kaufman and Alford-Harkey called on pro-abortion religious people to begin talking to their congregations and communities about these goals. They also urged them to talk to legislators about their faith-based reasons for supporting abortion on demand.
The writers appear to be trying to tap into an area where the pro-life movement has historically found strong support – people of faith. Christians especially have been strong supporters and leaders of the pro-life movement; but the movement has become increasingly diverse in recent years, with pro-life Jewish, atheist and even pagan and other religious groups uniting in the fight to protect unborn babies from abortion.
Abortion activists appear to be realizing how much strength there is in the unity of these religious groups in the pro-life movement. Through columns, speeches and other public advocacy efforts lately, abortion activists seem to be trying to coopt more religious groups into their own movement.
Whether they will succeed is less certain. A key belief among many people of faith is that human life is intrinsically valuable and should be protected. That value fits with the pro-life movement’s ultimate goal to ensure that the right to life for every human life from conception until natural death is protected and valued.