Abortion rights, religious voices

More advocates for reproductive freedom are finding God on their side, too.

Published August 2, 2006 2:08AM (EDT)

According to Monday's Boston Globe, the religious abortion-rights movement is playing a greater role in the national debate on abortion.

Abortion rights are not a religious issue for everyone, to be sure. But for many "people of faith" -- myself included -- reproductive freedom is not about, say, defining when life begins, but rather is linked to religious commitments to compassion, to social justice, to helping the stranger. (Why, as the New York Times reported last Sunday, even the occasional evangelical Christian minister is now saying things like, "I don't think there's a particular angle we have on society that others lack. All good, decent people want good and order and justice. Just don't slap the label 'Christian' on it.")

Of course, we all know that when it comes to politics, there's religion, and there's "religion." We know that some politicians, if they think it will sway farther-right voters, are all too eager to buddy up to Jesus. But the long-standing organizations the Globe refers to -- The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Catholics for a Free Choice, various liberal-leaning Christian and Jewish denominations -- are not just suddenly, calculatedly leaping on the "values" bandwagon. Long committed to social justice, they and their members are engaged in an ever-louder effort "to retrieve some of the moral authority now monopolized by the opposition, as the Globe puts it, "and, in the words of Lois Powell, a minister in the United Church of Christ, 'to take back the language of life.'" And to that I say Amen.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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