Saturday, May 7, 2022

Pro-Choice and Pro-Life : We Can Support Women's Right to Choose and the Flourishing of Human Life by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

(Image in New Yorker)

This week a leaked Supreme Court opinion on abortion sent shockwaves across our country.

Thousands gathered to protest or support the end of Roe around the country. 

According to the leaked document, the majority of the Supreme Court have decided to overturn Roe v.Wade and end a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy up until the point of viability. 

In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the court majority held that a women’s right to choose to end a pregnancy was protected by the Constitution, but that states could limit that right after the second trimester or 28 weeks, when a fetus might survive outside the womb. 

The majority of Americans support upholding Roe and say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases and -by a wide margin- see abortion as a decision to be made by a woman and her doctor, not by lawmakers.

 Last week an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 57% of Americans oppose a ban on abortion after 15 weeks; 58% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases; and 54% say the court should uphold Roe, compared with 28% who say the ruling should be overturned.

Many people -both pro-life and/or pro-choice are debating moral issues such as 

When does human life begin?

Who decides? 

How do we support pregnant women ‘s right to control their own bodies and decisions about their reproductive health?

What- if any- is the community’s role in the protection of human life from conception to birth and beyond?

Does being pro-life and pro-choice include supporting policies and laws that provide  access to health care, medical insurance, contraception and education?

What -if any- role should federal or state legislators or courts have in regulating abortion? 

An abortion law that has no exceptions will have devastating impact on the lives of women who are raped, children who are victims of incest, women whose health is at risk, and women’s human rights to control their bodies. 

The following steps are a way forward for those who are Pro-Choice and/or Pro-Life. Call federal and state legislators to support the following:

1. Oppose criminalizing abortion.

2. Provide free birth control as an effective way to prevent abortions. 

3. Offer age-appropriate sex education -with parents’ permission -in schools. 

4. Support policies, laws, and non-profits that provide prenatal care for mothers and babies from conception to young adulthood, help single mothers as well as struggling families with costs for food, housing, child-care, education, and job training.  

Within each person is the life that is God. Within each pregnant woman is the life that is God. 

God speaks through pregnant women who give birth, through women who decide to abort, and through all of us. 

We can find a path forward with mutual respect and love that supports women's rights, primacy of conscience and the flourishing of all human life. 

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