Another Week in Pro-Choice Prayer

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This week, I continue the series that was begun last week, much to the dismay of anti-choice activists commenting freely.

40 Days of Prayer to Stop the War on Women is a campaign by Faith Aloud, with a prayer a day beginning September 28 and leading up to the election.

Faith Aloud is a movement to give spiritual support to persons making reproductive decisions. As people of religious faith and conviction, Faith Aloud supports reproductive justice for every person. Our struggle for reproductive freedom includes issues concerning: abortion, adoption, choice, LGBTQ rights, Same-sex marriage, reproductive health and their intersections with faith and spirituality.

Here are the prayers for the second week:

Day 8:  We pray for compassionate religious voices to speak out for the dignity and autonomy of women.

Day 9:  We give thanks for the doctors who provide quality abortion care, and pray that they may be kept safe.

Day 10:  We ask for protection for the women who pass through hostile gauntlets of bullies on their way into abortion clinics.

 Day 11:  We pray for the mothers of disabled children, that no one will shame and diminish their motherhood.

 Day 12:  We pray for unfettered access to all forms of birth control.

 Day 13:  We pray that all people will vote for candidates that honor women’s lives.

 Day 14:  We pray that women will find their voices and speak their truths, even when others do not want to hear.

I’ll continue posting a week’s worth of the prayers at a time here, and encourage you to pray, share, and post them widely.

And, perhaps the commenters could focus on the content of these prayerful statements instead this week.

 

About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and also teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

  • Frank

    Another week and another 6,335 innocent unborn children killed by Planned Parenthood alone.

    • Caryn Riswold

      “We pray for compassionate religious voices to speak out for the dignity and autonomy of women.”

  • Pseudonym

    I know I’m in a minority, but I really, REALLY detest the framing of “life” vs “choice”. On both sides of the debate. Nobody wins that game of trench warfare.

    For Christianity, this isn’t about rights (either to “life” or to “choice”), but about dignity and compassion.

    • Frank

      There is absolutely no dignity nor compassion in the killing of an unborn child.

      • Pseudonym

        How about killing someone in self defence?

        • Frank

          It might be justified but its not compassionate or dignified. And certainly this situation has nothing to do with protecting innocent unborn children.

          • Pseudonym

            I asked because under Jewish law, terminating a pregnancy which risks the life of a pregnant woman is seen as self defence.

          • Frank

            Well there is disagreement about abortion in Jewish law but one thing for sure they don’t support abortion for reasons of convenience which 97% of abortions are due to.

    • Caryn Riswold

      I agree, ‘pseudonym,’ that life v. choice is a poor dichotomous frame. For example, I prefer to speak of those who are anti-choice as such to be clear what they are opposed to. I like your statement that this is about dignity and compassion … which one of the prayers this week makes clear.

      • Pseudonym

        Yes, I liked that prayer too.

        While I agree with you about the “anti-choice” tag for the most part, there are people who really do deserve the title “pro-life”. I think, for example, of Martin Sheen who campaigns against abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and war. That is a truly “pro-life” position to take.

        However, leaving that to one side, I suspect (I’ve spent a grand total of one week in the USA in my whole life, so I’m an outsider here) that the real problem is that the US as a society has never understood public health.

        Everywhere else in the first world (with the possible exception of Ireland) does have debates about the legality and morality of pregnancy termination, but there’s far less invective about it because those countries have a public health system, and so everyone knows that the issue that is really about medical care, medical privacy and informed consent.

        These are issues that everyone agrees on at a basic level. Nobody has a “right to choose” pregnancy termination any more than anyone has a “right to choose” chemotherapy. Nor do you have a “right” to interfere in someone else’s medical care; that’s between a patient and their doctor.

        I would love to hear, some day, some prominent US evangelical admit that even though they disagree with abortion at a moral level, that there exist some cases where it is the most compassionate option. If it can be done with jus in bellum, it can be done with modern medicine.

        • Pseudonym

          Err… that should be jus ad bellum. Sorry, I never did Latin.

        • Caryn Riswold

          Yes … the “just war” analogy is apt. And you are definitely on to something with the lack of support for/understanding of public health, healthcare as a universal right and a public good. We’re criminally behind so much of the rest of the world on that front.

  • Caryn

    ‘Frank’ … why do you bother coming to my blog? Your comments are becoming irrelevant to the substance of what I post. This week and last, especially, why would you detract from these calls to prayer with your own agenda?

  • Caryn Riswold

    ‘Frank’ … why do you bother coming to my blog? Your comments are becoming irrelevant to the substance of what I post. This week and last, especially, why would you detract from these calls to prayer with your own agenda?

    • Frank

      I find your prayer focus completely selfish. I think that everyone should understand that every day unborn children are being killed for convenience while you whine. You are welcome to ban me if the truth is too distracting to your agenda. Otherwise I will keep standing up for those that cannot stand up for themselves.

      • Caryn Riswold

        I will keep standing up for those whom you caricature, demean, and fundamentally misunderstand.
        I’m not at all sure what your problem with trusting women and families to make informed and prayerful decisions is.

        • Frank

          Based on the numbers of abortions for convenience it’s clear that many cannot be trusted. Trust is earned.

          And I find it very hard to believe that someone could walk away from communing with God and then kill an innocent life. If that happens its not God their talking to.

          • Caryn Riswold

            “A crosscutting theme was women’s responsibility to children and other dependents, as well as considerations about children they may have in the future. Most women in every age, parity, relationship, racial, income and education category cited concern for or responsibility to other individuals as a factor in their decision to have an abortion. In contrast to the perception (voiced by politicians and laypeople across the ideological spectrum) that women who choose abortion for reasons other than rape, incest and life endangerment do so for “convenience,”13 our data suggest that after carefully assessing their individual situations, women base their decisions largely on their ability to maintain economic stability and to care for the children they already have.”
            http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.pdf

          • Frank

            Sounds exactly like a choice of convenience to me: “It would be easier all around to kill this innocent life so I don’t have to take care of it even though I helped create it.”

  • Andrew

    The issue truly is not about whether abortion is a choice or not. Even if abortion was to be made illegal, I am sure there would still be those who would obtain them still. The real question is this: is having an abortion the right decision?
    I guess I would ask you this question: When do you believe a human being is formed? I think this should be the first topic of debate. Is it immediately after the child is born? Is there a set amount of time after the pregnancy begins that it is now human? Or does it happen at conception? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


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