I Am a Priest, and This Is Why I’m Pro-Choice
It is easy for those of us born after the Roe vs. Wade decision to forget that, eleven years before the ruling, upwards of five thousand women died from having illegal abortions. Distance from this era of a staggering reproductive health crisis must be treated with elation and caution. Elation over the fact that far fewer people are dying due to reproductive health-related complications and caution, because there are forces of regression at work in our society that would return us to those tragic days. Days that we would all do well to recognize but not replicate.
Before I proceed, it is important for me to disclose the fact that I do not have a uterus and that many of the decisions made about the bodies of people with a uterus are by cisgender men. And the last thing any of us interested in transformative public discourse need is another cisgender man telling people how they should or shouldn’t take care of their reproductive health. This was no clearer than a lunch conversation I was a part of in seminary. The four or five of us were discussing the moral ambiguity of abortion, with some coming arriving at an anti-choice conclusion and others arriving at a pro-choice one. And then it dawned on me; the crushing realization that every person in the conversation self-identified as a cisgender man.