Episcopal Church Priest: Women Need Abortions and a Right to Abortion is “Necessary”

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 9, 2017   |   5:21PM   |   Washington, DC

Tennessee Episcopal Priest Kira Schlesinger believes so strongly in legalized abortion that she wrote a book to reconcile her Christian beliefs with the killing of unborn babies.

In her new book “Pro-Choice and Christian: Reconciling Faith, Politics, and Justice,” Schlesinger criticizes churches that “shame” and stigmatize women who abort their unborn babies. She said church congregations should have more open conversations about abortion, and support women who have them.

“The shame and stigma surrounding abortion and unwanted pregnancies, particularly in religious circles, are a huge impediment to having honest and forthright discussions about something nearly a third of women have gone through,” Schlesinger writes.

The priest-in-charge at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Lebanon, Tennessee, she appears to see abortion as a necessary evil.

According to a book review at Fit Yourself Club blog:

Yes, abortion robs the earth of a potential life, which saddens the author. However, she also realizes that women have a right to managing their bodies without government interference and that one in three women will have an abortion before they reach the age of 40. Thus, making abortion illegal will drive the procedure underground where it will cause more danger and pain to the woman and her child.

In a column she wrote in 2015 for Ministry Matters, she argued that there would be no abortions in a perfect world, but the world is not perfect and women need to have abortions to keep themselves and their babies from suffering.

She argued for more government support of health care, education, safe housing and nutritional food for struggling families.

“In an ideal world, in one that has not fallen so far from what God intended, every conceived child would be desired and every pregnancy would be met with joy,” she wrote. “But until our nation truly places families and children first, until there is a communal commitment to raising all children … access to safe and legal induced abortions and a woman’s right to choose remain necessary.”

But Schlesinger bases an unborn child’s worth on their circumstances. In essence, she seems to believe that unborn babies sometimes are better off being brutally killed in abortions (maybe by dismemberment or poison), than being born into less than ideal circumstances.

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Children are born every day into difficult circumstances, but almost no one in society advocates for killing them. It’s because society recognizes that they are valuable human beings. It recognizes that a human life is not less valuable because he or she was born poor or because he/she grew up in an abusive household or because he/she did not have access to a good education. From a Christian perspective, human life is intrinsically valuable because it is created in the image of God. And human life begins at conception.

In her book, Schlesinger said she believes Christians can find common ground on the abortion issue by supporting efforts that help “all people” to flourish. And certainly, she is right that a lot of work needs to be done to help children and families who are struggling. Without the work of millions of pro-lifers at pregnancy resource centers, ministries and more, the need would be far greater.

But supporting the legalized killing of the smallest, most vulnerable member of the family is not the answer. Only by recognizing and protecting the value of every human life, no matter how small or what their circumstances, will society begin to allow every human being the chance to flourish.