I left academia as an 18th grader with the middle-child version of a degree. And without my faith. In defense of my incredible professors, they nailed rigor into my bones. Baptized me in evenhandedness. And exorcized the logical fallacy demons from my soul. This was my re-programming. But some intolerable old man once said, "One repays a teacher badly if one always remains only a pupil."ٰ ¹ Caught somewhere between betrayal and transcendence, I offer a reckless, unchecked, emotional plea.

I was raised in a religious household. In my infinite seventeen-year-old wisdom, believed abortion was wrong. It actually seemed rather simple to me. A baby in progress ought to be preserved. Wherever we might land on when a fetus becomes a person, it's clear the fetus is on the journey of personhood, and that ought to be protected. A prima facie truth born from my gut. I'm not sure I even needed the bible to experience this truth. It just felt right.

Viewed from a purely bioethical standpoint, abortion is one of the most difficult and unique issues facing our civilization. There are a number of confounding issues ranging from what constitutes a person to the peculiarity of its singular impact on uterus havers. There are legitimate concerns, debates, and implications on both sides of the issue. Personally, I found Judith Jarvis Thompson's "A Defense of Abortion" and specifically her violinist argument most persuasive, ultimately supplanting my instinctual leanings. And I urge you, stop reading my words, and please read hers. 

But the modern discourse is neither driven by philosophical rigor, nor science and least of which, the majority of the American people. Jarvis' argument wasn't supplanted by a better one. It wasn't defeated in the marketplace of ideas. Let us be clear, this is not the result of new biological discoveries which gave rise to a new understanding of personhood or consciousness. No, a 50 year precedent was erased because a corrupt narcissist stacked the deck in the name of fundamentalist christian values. And because of it, three tenured voices will loom over America for decades.  

To those who do not see a woman's right to her body as primary, I implore you to explore the literature. It may change your mind as it did mine. It took years of introspection and consideration, but ultimately I was persuaded. As I explored the world beyond the one I was taught, I accepted new ideas, remained steadfast in others, but was willing to make the voyage. 

As my studies progressed, an ocean of ideas pummeled me. The hull of my identity began to crumble. It stripped the wind of faith from my sails. But I always looked upon my faith with a sympathetic eye. And though I found the Christian god untenable, like an aging Dostoyevsky, I entertained the possibility of recommitting myself. I championed the humanity of Brothers Karamazov and Kierkegaard as beacons of God's lighthouse steering our wayward ships home.  

Now I find it detrimental. All Christians are responsible for the actions done on behalf of their extreme fundamentalist kin. Your lack of condemnation, disavowal, and outrage is inexcusable. And I no longer view you as separate. Until you rebuke the categorically unchristian behavior exhibited by your leaders in the name of identity advancement, I will paint you all with the same brush. It is done in your name, and it is your name I denounce.

Today is the moment where Christianity reemerged as an active threat to the health and safety of women. I was wrong. Both about abortion and subsequently about god. And I am grateful for being wrong during a time when Roe wasn't up for debate. And as control is relegated to the states, it is imperative we address the issues with the utmost clarity. Women deserve better. 


¹ Nietzsche, F. Thus Spoke Zarathustra Part One, Of the Bestowing Virtue, based on R.J. Hollingdale and Walter Kaufmann translations.

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