How I believe in a faith that is anti-abortion, but I am Pro-Choice
I am Pro-Choice.
I have never had a child, nor gotten a woman pregnant, nor has any situation ever come up that has made me face, what I imagine, is a very difficult choice to get an abortion. But, I am Pro-Choice.
I belong to the Greek Orthodox church, something I was born into, baptized into, and it has been a part of my and my families life. Church is very central to our family, and I am close to them. While Covid hit, I increased my financial contributions to help my current church, and also past churches I used to attend. I had both the financial means and desire to do so.
My church is opposed to abortion. Very opposed. In 2020, they stated “Abortion is Murder.”
I have been asked, how can you be Orthodox and Pro-Choice. Easy. To me the heart of the issue has to do with Religion and how we come into our faith. There is no scientific evidence to support that human babies would survive at the moment of conception. It takes at least 24 weeks of gestation for a human embryo to become viable (viable meaning there is about a 50% chance of survival). Abortions under Roe v Wade was only legal for the first 12 weeks. So the only reason for outlawing abortion is for religious reasons.
Put the absurdity of the court ignoring the separation of Church and State out of the equation for a moment, and ask, whose religion says life begins at conception? Mine, certainly, believes this, along with Catholics and Evangelicals. Ditto Mormons. What about the rest? Southern Baptist have had an interesting history with Abortion. Ditto Methodist. Other religions have similar complexities. According to Time Magazine, 60% of main-line protestants favor abortion. And even though the Catholic Church is against abortion, a slight majority of Catholics believe abortion should be legal, though this represents is reflected in the members who attend mass less than weekly.
Now, that was just Christians. What about other faiths, all of which are allowed and protected in the US?
The vast majority of Jews believe that Abortion should be legal. Muslims believe this too, but not in as strong numbers. Hinduism permits abortion, if the mother’s life is in danger (do the least harm). Buddhism is generally opposed, but the Dalai Lama has said that each individual case should be viewed on its own. And let us not forget the Atheist, who have every right not to believe in any of this, or in any concept of a soul, as protected by the US Constitution.
By overturning Roe vs Wade, not only has the Supreme Court ignored the founding principal of separation of Church and State, they have in fact endorsed religion, and very specific ones, too. It’s not even a decision to make the US a Christian state, but its a decision to force adherence to a very specific brand of Christianity.
Neither I nor my Church signed up for this.
I try to live by Christian values and teaching; I do not think it is my duty, obligation, or responsibility to convert others. If though, through my actions, the spirit moves someone, I will encourage them to explore the faith more. However, as a Christian, my duties to live a life of charity, generosity, and kindness to my fellow man do not involve me forcibly trying to change someones views on the soul nor force any other change.
Years ago, I had a discussion with my priest about a conversion. Someone I knew who might be converting to Greek Orthodox, and I was questioning their motives. The Priest and my Church was very clear in this matter: their motivations for the change had to be pure and with an open heart. Converting in name only, without belief, was a sin, and an insult to God. If you do not have the belief and faith, the conversion is meaningless.
That is the situation we now live with in the US. Millions of Americans — the vast majority, have just been forced into adopting a religious belief that is not their own, in a meaningless act of coercion. As a Christian, I can not and will not stand for this forced imposition of beliefs, made with unwilling consent, made on an unwilling population.
That’s how I can be religious and Pro-Choice.