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Patheos is the world's premier website for information and dialogue on the world's major faith traditions, with daily contributions from Patheos Experts.

The God of Pregnant Women

January 17, 2011


Meg RileyBy Meg Riley

As we approach Roe v. Wade Day once again, we know that many anti-abortion elected officials will opine about the sacredness of every pregnancy. But women know that, political rhetoric notwithstanding, matters of faith and reproductive health are complex.

This came home to me a few years ago when I was recently in a march to keep abortion legal. The friend I was marching beside had just, that very morning, watched a stick turn pink. The pregnancy could not have been more wanted. Said stick had been tested the very first day it could possibly reveal a tiny speck of protoplasm beginning to congeal inside of her.

We were jubilant as we marched. Of course we knew that our jubilation was not about a present biological reality, but a possibility for the future, hope sharpened by several past miscarriages. But to us, and her husband at home, this speck was the precious beginning of a new life. The choice my friend was making, on that day celebrating women's choice, was to bring a longed-for child into the world. That protoplasm is now a flesh and blood human being, someone I have giggled with and talked to and played with.

And. I have also wept with a couple who learned that their six-month pregnancy, a baby they had not only named but were creating a nursery for, had a brain growing outside of her head and had no chance at all of surviving the pregnancy much less birth. I wept with them for the loss of their dreams, as the mother prepared to undergo the horrific surgery now outlawed by the Supreme Court of the United States, so that she need not spend an additional three months birthing a corpse. The medical procedure was recommended by her doctor as the best means of preserving her health during a time of unspeakable loss. Not a choice, but a medical emergency.

Read the rest of this article at Patheos here.

Meg Riley is Senior Minister of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF). Visit her Expert Site at Patheos here.

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