Rabbi supports abortion: the fetus is coming to kill the mother

A rabbi who counseled pregnant women and helped them get abortions explained why he supported abortion:

“It’s not whether the fetus is alive. The question is, in Jewish law, as it is concerning Arabs who want to kill Jews. The Talmud says if a person is coming to kill you, get up earlier and kill him first. There is the concept of the chaser and that chasee, the person who is coming to harm you and the person who is going to be harmed… The fetus is endangering the life of the mother. Until the fetus’s head emerges intact, or the body emerges, the fetus is coming to kill the mother. You can kill it at any stage to save the life of the mother. The question in Jewish law is what constitutes threatening the life of the mother. I believe emotional health is threatening the life.”

He was a Conservative Rabbi who worked with the Clergy Consultation Service.

Doris Andrea Dirks, Patricia A Relf To Offer Compassion: A History of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (Madison, Wisconsin: University Of Wisconsin Press, 2017) 109 – 110

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Reverend prays for abortion

In an article, Rev. Debra Haffner describes how she will pray for abortion:

“We will end our prayers with these words: “Bless us as we seek to create a more just world where all people have the right to make their own private reproductive decisions and obtain safe, legal, and accessible abortion services. Amen.”

Rev. Debra Haffner “Faithfully Supporting Access to Abortion ServicesHuffington Post 02/24/2016

9-10 week old potential victim of abortion
9-10 week old potential victim of abortion
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Pro-Abortion reverend “put women at ease” about their abortions

Rev. Jesse Lyons of Riverside Church was part of the Clergy Consultation Service, which referred women to illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. All of those in the service were pastors or rabbis who were pro-abortion.

He describes the “counseling” he gave abortion minded women:

“I tried to put a woman at ease, to make her recognize abortion was not a matter of eternal damnation,” Lyons explained.”

Lawrence Lader Abortion II: Making the Revolution (Beacon Press, 1974) 46

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Reverend describes her abortions

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters is Professor of Religious Studies. She writes about her abortions in her pro-abortion book, Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice:

“We both wanted to have children, but we were also young, relatively poor students with a lot of educational debt. We felt it was important to build up our relationship and spend some time with each other before we had kids… We were young and healthy, and although we were struggling economically, we had enough to get by … I was in seminary, and having a baby right then would seriously interrupt my studies and my future career. I believed that my work on issues of social justice was important; it was my calling in my life. In my prayer and my discernment, I knew that this was not the right time for me to become a mother.…

The truth was, I didn’t want it – the pregnancy or a child. I had regularly used contraception to prevent it, I didn’t bond with it, and I never entered into relationship with it …  Those dividing cells were never a child for me.

Having had three subsequent planned and wanted pregnancies, I know the difference between embracing and rejecting a pregnancy. A miscarriage at the same point in a wanted pregnancy would’ve been a much more tragic loss for me. It was a pregnancy, but it was never a “baby.”…

I had testified before Presbyterian committees and general assemblies that if my birth control failed, I would likely have an abortion if I wasn’t ready to be a mother. … the decision to have an abortion was neither traumatic nor tragic. I did not experience it as a theological crisis or as an act that separated me from God. …

I have never regretted my decision or felt any lingering guilt or sadness after my immediate experience of the pregnancy and abortion. My first abortion was not a tragic decision.”

Peters seems to feel that a woman is carrying a baby if she wants the child and “dividing cells” if she does not. But the way a woman feels toward her baby does not change the nature of what her baby is. The child is not a baby only if the mother wants her.

Peters had a child, and then a second abortion. Peters second abortion was done because the child had down syndrome and a heart defect that could have been corrected by surgery:

“… By my 18th week, a diagnosis of multiple severe heart defects that would require open-heart surgery in the first year of life and Down syndrome. While we never thought we would have another abortion, we were suddenly faced with another unexpected life situation that required serious moral reflection…

Medical technology has advanced in truly remarkable ways. In our situation, it offered both the advanced knowledge of our prenate’s diagnosis and the possibility of open-heart surgery. It was now our responsibility to figure out what to do with this information.

We had to discern whether we were prepared or willing to parent this medically and socially fragile potential child that I carried. The fact that this was a deeply wanted pregnancy meant that the situation was nothing like my first abortion. Although my marriage was now solid, I was still concerned for the health of my marriage and I had to think about the obligations that we had to our three-year-old, my calling and vocation as a Christian ethicist and college professor, and my awareness of my own gifts and limitations as a parent.…

My husband and I knew that ending the pregnancy was the right decision for us. But in contrast to our first experience of abortion, this experience was wrenching. We grieved deeply over our loss, but the loss was the loss of our imagined child, the social being we had created in our minds as all would be parents do.…For very personal reasons, we decided to end the pregnancy.

Rebecca Todd Peters Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 2018) 24 – 25, 26, 27-28

Peters says this abortion was different than the last one, but it still came down to the fact that parenting the child would have required sacrifices and interfered with her career.

Peters says that her first abortion was done early, but the second baby was 18 weeks along. This is what an 18 week old baby looks like in the womb:

18-weeks-big

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Minister is happy to support Planned Parenthood

Valerie Miller Coleman, minister of Community Engagement, Plymouth United Church of Christ:

“Our faith demands a compassionate response to the hardships our most vulnerable neighbors face… We’ve had record giving every time we tell our congregation their gifts will support Planned Parenthood… Women’s health is a crucial piece in a strong, healthy society, and we have a broad understanding of that. As people of faith, we believe that abundant life is a gift from God which belongs to all people. Ensuring that all women have full access to excellent health care is essential to that vision of abundance. We are proud to support the mission and work of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.”

A Matter of FaithThe Source Planned Parenthood Fall 2013

6 weeks after conception
6 weeks after conception
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Pastor: Reproductive Right are Sacred

Rev. Debra McKnight, associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Omaha:

“God is a life-giving presence, which means we can and should care for each other with compassion. Faith isn’t just an hour on Sunday morning, but in your everyday life. So, we hope people are thinking about what is life-giving …

I believe that being absolutely pro-birth isn’t always the most life-giving choice. The church needs to be there to support people, not moralize about those choices…we acknowledge that an absolute ban [on abortion] is not necessarily the most life-affirming stance…because it doesn’t take into account the circumstances of the woman and her family.

People of faith can take courage from the prophets of ancient stories and speak up. They can let the world and our leaders know that reproductive rights are sacred and women’s health means healthy families, workplaces and communities.”

A Matter of FaithThe Source Planned Parenthood Fall 2013

Below: baby at 10 weeks. Before and after abortion. Is this choice “sacred?”

crossed-ankles

10 weeks
10 weeks
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Pro-Choice activist compares preborn baby to severed hand

Pro-Choice activist Virginia Ramey Mollenkott writes:

“Anti-abortionists claim that fetal personhood is a biological fact rather than a theological perspective. However, the fetus is human only in the sense that any part of a human body is human: Every cell carries the full genetic code (a severed hand is genetically human, as well, but we do not call it a person)….six hundred million sperm are “aborted” in every masturbation or wet dream.”

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott “Respecting the Moral Agency of Women.” Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights pamphlet

Below: picture of preborn baby at 10 weeks, still in the first trimester. Is he the same as a severed hand?

crossed-ankles-1

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Liturgy on abortion by Catholics for Free Choice

Catholics for Choice (then called Catholics for Free Choice) has the following liturgy to celebrate abortion:

“Praised be you, Mother and Father God, that you have given your people the power of choice. We are saddened that the life circumstances of (aborting woman’s name) are such that she has had to choose to terminate her pregnancy. We affirm her and support her in her decision.”

The litergents then”sprinkle flower petals, or share dried flowers.”

CFFC brochure entitled “You Are Not Alone” quoted in Mary Meehan. “How Can They Be Called Catholic?” National Catholic Register, November 19, 1989, page 5.

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Reverend opposes abortion law, calls pro-life view extreme

A clergyman spoke out against a law restricting abortion by saying:

“Our moral imperative is to commit ourselves to the care of the born.… We should create laws that promote the common good and not narrow, extreme political and religious ideologies.”

Rev. Patrick Hurley, president of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and retired pastor Presbyterian Church, Pueblo

Wendy Norris “Religious Leaders in Colorado Respond to the Egg-As-Person AmendmentRh Reality Check June 2, 2008

Is it a “narrow, extreme political and religious ideology” to oppose this?

abort11w4

Above: Abortion at 11 weeks

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Pro-choice Reverend says baby “has a right not to be born”

Rev. Owens, who is pro-choice, gives his views about abortion:

“There is a spiritual force within a woman when she’s pregnant and people of great spiritual sensitivity have to deal with the reality of that potential life, and a lot of people don’t think there is this kind of subtlety, and when they do, I’m very supportive of them. Yes, there’s a spiritual issue involved. I take the idea of ending the life of the fetus very, very gravely. I’m troubled by that, but this doesn’t in any way diminish my conviction that a woman has the right to do that, but I become distressed when people regard pregnancy lightly and ignore the spiritual significance of a pregnancy…

I remember giving a talk, that I thought that one of my roles was to be an advocate for the fetus, and for the fetus’s right not to be born… In this sense, that I think if I had my druthers I would probably pursue a course which would, as I do advocate verbally, the need for licensing pregnancies, which seems to contradict what I’ve just said, but I don’t think it really does.”

Kristin Luker “Abortion and the Meaning of Life” in Sidney Callahan and Daniel Callahan, eds. Abortion: Understanding Differences (London: Plenum Press, 1984) 41, 43

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