Christian Minister Defends Abortion Access

MARCH 18, 2019
Contact: David Beasley (718-578-1501 or [email protected])


The Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson calls people of faith to respond.


NEW YORK — As a woman, a mother and minister I know the draconian anti-abortion laws in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and around the country are not motivated by the care for children.

If we cared about children in this country we would ensure that living and breathing children — the most vulnerable among us — have access to health care, excellent public education, and a healthy planet. If we cared about children, we would not separate them from their families and put them in cages at the border.

As states criminalize women who choose abortion and threaten to throw their doctors in jail, supporters of these new laws claim to be advancing the cause of Christ and the kingdom of God. As a Christian minister, my view is that this is not only misguided but malevolent.

It is a direct attack on Roe v. Wade. It is an attempt to control the bodies of women across our country and will affect not only their own lives but the lives of their partners and families. By denying access to healthcare, including access to abortion, women will pay with their lives, especially those who will be disproportionately impacted: poor people, young people, and people of color.

While the news coming out of Alabama and Georgia is devastating, places like Kansas, the home of Operation Rescue and the state where abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, was assassinated, offer hope. Just last month the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a woman’s right to abortion is protected by the state’s constitution.

This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life — decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.

Sometimes surprises can happen in the places that feel the most intractable.

Now is the time for people of faith and moral courage to organize and engage–in their congregations, in their communities, and in their states. The time is urgent but not hopeless. We can do better to protect the God-given bodily autonomy of women. We must do better. Our lives and freedom to choose are held in the balance.



Auburn is a leadership development and research institute, working to build the field of the multifaith movement for justice. From local to global, Auburn equips leaders of faith and moral courage and brings together unlikely partners to address today’s seemingly intractable challenges, strengthen communities and inspire hope.

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