In a recent article in USA Today, professor of religious studies and ordained minister Rebecca Todd Peters argued that abortion can be a “morally good decision,” calling on Christians to trust women enough to make a decision themselves.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Dr. Albert Mohler responded to Peters’ article on his podcast Tuesday, saying that the pro-abortion argument had gone “for broke.”
Rebecca Todd Peters Argues for the Morality of Abortion
In the article entitled I’m a Christian minister who’s had 2 abortions. Here’s how faith informed those decisions, Peters, who is a Presbyterian minister, professor at Elon University, and mother of two, shared that she has terminated two of her pregnancies.
Peters then tied her decision to her Christian faith, saying, “I did not make my abortion decisions despite my Christian identity and faith, but rather because of it.”
Arguing that parenting is a sacred task, Peters wrote, “And I can say, without a doubt, that the two decisions we made to have children were far more morally significant than the decisions to end two pregnancies.” Peters explained that she and her husband had carefully considered each of the two abortions and saw them as the morally responsible choice.
Peters went on to detail the history of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion, an association of clergy formed in 1967 to counsel and refer women to licensed doctors who could safely perform abortions prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which made safe abortions more widely accessible.
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“More than 50 years later, we are on the precipice of returning to that pre-Roe world. While women like me will continue to find access to abortion care, it is largely poor women, women of color, and young women and their families who will bear the brunt of the burden of abortion bans,” Peters wrote, presumably referring to the recent abortion legislation in Texas.
Peters further argued, “Today’s Christians cannot stay silent while pregnant people in our communities are being harassed, abused and forced to bear children by the state…we need to recognize the moral wisdom my momma shared with me: ‘You shouldn’t have a baby just because you are pregnant – you should have a baby because you want to be a mother, you want to have a family.’”
“Ending a pregnancy when one cannot afford to care for a child (or another child) can be a morally responsible decision,” Peters said. She then argued that abortions are morally responsible when a woman is not ready for parenthood, when a pregnancy would interrupt her education or career pursuits, or when she is in an abusive romantic relationship.