Christian Restorative Justice and Bioethics

A fetus aborted at 10 weeks, because the mother was diagnosed with cancer of the womb.  Photo credit:  Suparna Sinha | CC2.0, Flickr.


Christian restorative justice, bioethics, and abortion policy

These resources explore the moral, legal, and law enforcement challenges of abortion and abortion policy, especially as envisioned by conservatives defining human personhood from conception and placing more restrictive policies on abortion. For problems encountered by liberal-progressives defining human personhood at some other point, and making permissive policies on abortion, see this page.

Messages and Essays on Abortion and Abortion Policy

The Ethics of Abortion in the United States: A Socio-Political Approach A long essay examining not only the traditional biological question of the status of the fetus from the manuscript differences and interpretive uncertainties surrounding Exodus 21:22 - 25, but also other ethical questions such as the responsibility of the father and the cost of child-raising

Christian Restorative Justice: Abortion, Gay Marriage, and Freedom of Religion (ppts) A sermon given Oct 21, 2012

Should I Support or Oppose Gay Marriage? A paper exploring various policy options  

Books and Articles on Abortion and Abortion Policy

Wikipedia, History of Christian Thought on Abortion (Wikipedia article)

Religious Tolerance, Abortion History: Pagan and Christian Beliefs 400 BCE - 1983 CE (Religious Tolerance)

Abortion (Bad News About Christianity) contains references to Augustine's acceptance of abortion

George McKenna, On Abortion: A Lincolnian Position (The Atlantic, Sep 1995)

Katha Pollitt, Abortion in American History (The Atlantic, May 1997)

Mark A. Graber, Rethinking Abortion: Equal Choice, the Constitution, and Reproductive Politics (pdf book, 1999)

Stuart Koehl, An Independent Witness to Marriage (First Things, Jul 16, 2010)

Ross Douthat, What Reduces Abortion Rates (NY Times, Feb 21, 2012)

Star-Ledger Staff, Why I Perform Abortions: A Christian Obstetrician Explains His Choice (, May 27, 2012)

Gary Kowalski, The Founding Fathers and Abortion in Colonial America (Revolutionary Spirits blog, Apr 6, 2012) also posted here, see comments

BBC News, German Incest Couple Lose European Court Case (BBC, Apr 12, 2012)

Garance Franke-Ruta, The Anti-Abortion Movement's Intelligence Failure (The Atlantic, Apr 17, 2013)

Ranana Dine, Scarlet Letters: Getting the History of Abortion and Contraception Right (American Progress, Aug 8, 2013)

Eric Sapp, If You Are Truly Pro-Life, You'd Vote Democrat (Patheos, Sep 4, 2012) only 10 States have anti-abortion laws, accounting for 10% for abortions

David Goldberg, I, Pedophile (The Atlantic, Aug 26, 2013)

Sara Boboltz, Here's Why the Idea of "Traditional Marriage" is Total Bullsh*t (Huffington Post, Jan 20, 2014)

Gregory Ciotti, Is Your Brain Truly Ready for Junk Food, Porn, or the Internet? (Sparring Mind blog)

Scott Keyes, Conservatives Aren’t Just Fighting Same-Sex Marriage. They’re Also Trying to Stop Divorce. (Washington Post, Apr 11, 2014)

William Patrocelli, Five Ways Men Benefit From Women's Empowerment (Huffington Post, Apr 27, 2014)

Health Research Funding, 18 Noteworthy Botched Abortion Statistics (Heath Research Funding, Feb 7, 2015)

I Had an Abortion at 27 Weeks; the House 20-Week Abortion Bill Feels Like a Slap in the Face (Reddit, May, 2015)

Danielle Kurtzleben, Fact Check: How Does Planned Parenthood Spend That Government Money? (NPR, Aug 5, 2015)

Julia Smucker, Abortion as Political Profit: The Unspoken Consensus (Christian Democracy Magazine, Sep 22, 2015)

Hannah Levintova, Up to 240,000 Women Have Tried to Give Themselves Abortions in Texas (Mother Jones, Nov 17, 2015)

Robert Tracy MacKenzie, When Being Pro-Life Didn't Make You a Republican (Christianity Today, Nov 23, 2015)

Ryan Hammill, That Time C.S. Lewis Predicted the Future (Sojourners, Dec 17, 2015)

Matt Agorist, Michigan Senate Passes Bill Outlawing Oral and Anal Sex — Violators Will Face 15 Years in Prison (Free Thought Project, Jan 8, 2016)

John Oliver, Abortion Laws (Last Week Tonight, Feb 21, 2016)

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, The Return of the D.I.Y. Abortion (NY Times, Mar 5, 2016)

Sara Reardon, The Spectrum of Sex Development: Eric Vilain and the Intersex Controversy (Nature, May 10, 2016)

Rob Stein, In Search For Cures, Scientists Create Embryos That Are Both Animal And Human (NPR, May 18, 2016)

Ellen Wulfhorst, Up Against Strict Laws, Texas Women Learn Do-It-Yourself Abortions (Reuters, May 24, 2016)

Aaron Cline Hanbury, The Surprising New Findings that Could Re-Shape the Pro-Life Movement: New Data Calls for a New Response (Relevant, May 25, 2016)

Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, Supreme Court Rejects States' Ploy to Roll Back Abortion Rights (LA Times, Jun 27, 2016)

Michael Brown, Since God Hates the Shedding of Innocent Blood, Can a Christian Vote for Hillary? (The Stream, Jul 26, 2016) an example of an abortion policy position

Shannon Dingle, I'm Pro-Life. And I'm Voting for Hillary. Here's Why (blog, Jul 31, 2016)

Mary Elizabeth Williams, "There's So Much Shame and Stigma": "Abortion Stories" Director Tracy Droz Tragos Pulls Back the Curtain on "Super Complicated" Issue (Salon, Aug 12, 2016)

Matthew Tyson, I’m Pro-Life, And I Don’t Care About the Supreme Court (Patheos, Sep 6, 2016)

Eric Sapp, Hillary Clinton Is the Best Choice for Voters Against Abortion (Christian Post, Oct 3, 2016)

Ruth Graham, The New Culture of Life (Slate, Oct 11, 2016)

Neil Carter, What Does the Bible Say About Abortion? (Patheos, Oct 23, 2016) including history of the politics of abortion

Lisa Shannon, U.S. Policy Prevents Women Who Are Raped By ISIS From Accessing Abortion (NY Times, Nov 1, 2016)

Laura Bassett, How House Republicans Derailed A Scientist Whose Research Could Save Lives (Huffington Post, Nov 3, 2016) and The Young Turks, Doctor's Life-Saving Research DESTROYED By Republicans (The Young Turks, Nov 3, 2016)

Brandy Zadrozny, Sofia Vergara Embryo Case Could Open Floodgates (Daily Beast, Dec 8, 2016)

Marie Solis, Judge Rules Doctors Can Refuse Trans Patients and Women Who Have Had Abortions (Policy Mic, Jan 4, 2017)

Nina Agrawal, Abortion Rate Declines to Historic Low, with Obamacare a Likely Contributor, Study Says (Los Angeles Times, Jan 18, 2017)

Myriam Renaud, Myths Debunked: Why Did White Evangelical Christians Vote for Trump? (Chicago Divinity School, Jan 19, 2017) not abortion, but terrorism and economy

Charlotte England, Arkansas Passes Law Allowing Rapists to Prevent Victims Who Want an Abortion (Independent, Feb 3, 2017)

Noel Wise, Judge: Gender Laws Are At Odds With Science (Time, Mar 8, 2017)

Francis X. Rocca, Why Abortion Doesn’t Resonate in European Politics (WSJ, Mar 23, 2017) why populist movements downplay it

Christina Forrester, The Truth About Christianity and Abortion (Huffington Post, Apr 17, 2017)

Kyle Howard, Moral Credibility and Ethnic Diversity in the Pro-Life Movement (Speak for the Unborn, Aug 7, 2017)

Caroline Kitchener, Will Technology Change the Abortion Debate? (The Atlantic, Jan 16, 2018)

Joseph P. Williams, Satanic Temple Sues Missouri Over Abortion Rights – and Could Win (USA Today, Jan 26, 2018) testing the First Amendment

Anna North, Plenty of Conservatives Really Do Believe Women Should Be Executed for Having Abortions (Vox, Apr 5, 2018) shows the retributive ethic in conservatism, and white American evangelicalism

Kevin Williamson, The Punishment I Favor for Abortion (Washington Post, Apr 25, 2018) cites France's 12 week limit on permitting abortion

Frederica Perera, The Womb Is No Protection From Toxic Chemicals (NY Times, Jun 1, 2017)

Li Zhou, Ten Legal Experts on the Future of Roe v. Wade After Kennedy (Vox, Jul 2, 2018)

Davorah Blanchor, Abortion Is Immoral, Except When It Comes to My Mistresses (McSweeney’s Jul 11, 2018)

Michael Shermer, Abortion Is a Problem to Be Solved, Not a Moral Issue (Scientific American, Sep 2018)

Joe Fox, Ann Gerhart and Aaron Steckelberg, What Could Happen If Roe v. Wade Gets Struck Down? (Washington Post, Sep 4, 2018)

Shannon Dingle, Pro-Life Friends Supported Our Children’s Adoptions. But They Balk at Policies Keeping Them Alive. (Washington Post, Sep 4, 2018)

Gabrielle Blair, Men Cause 100% of Unwanted Pregnancies (Medium, Sep 24, 2018) witty and challenging

Alice Miranda Ollstein and Rachel Roubein, Here Comes the Roe v. Wade Challenges (Politico, Nov 8, 2018)

Zamira Rahim, Ohio Considers Total Ban on Abortion and Death Penalty for Women or Doctors Found Guilty (UK Independent, Nov 20, 2018)

Françoise Girard, Abortion Pills Aren’t Enough to Keep Coat Hangers in the Closet (NY Times, Nov 25, 2018)

Sarah Kliff, The American Abortion Rate Is at an All-Time Low (Vox, Dec 3, 2018) due to better birth control

Alice Miranda Ollstein, Kavanaugh, Roberts Side With Liberal Judges on Planned Parenthood Case (Politico, Dec 10, 2018)

Anna North, Roe v. Wade Is at Risk, But Abortion Rights Groups See Surprising Opportunities for Gains (Vox, Jan 24, 2019)

Jennifer Gorman, Here’s What I Want Donald Trump And Everyone Else To Know About My ‘Late-Term Abortion’ (Huffington Post, Feb 7, 2019)

Anna North, Trump Administration’s “Domestic Gag Rule” Blocked by Judge (Vox, Apr 26, 2019) highlights difficulties with tying funding for contraception with funding for abortion

Andrew Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren Just Transformed the Abortion Debate (NY Magazine, May 17, 2019)

Jamelle Bouie, Anti-Abortion and Pro-Trump Are Two Sides of the Same Coin (NY Times, May 20, 2019) “Both seek to reinforce and re-establish hierarchies that were beginning to lose force” namely, privileges of race, gender, and class exemplified by Trump’s personal lifestyle

Angela Denker, I Wanted to Be Pro-Life. But the Pro-Life Movement Forces Me to Take the Other Side (Washington Post, May 29, 2019)

Wesley J. Smith, Don’t Let Profiteers Control Human Genetic Engineering (National Review, May 29, 2019)

Elise C. Boddie, Kamala Harris Has a Brilliant Idea on Abortion (NY Times, Jun 6, 2019) re: preclearance, preventing state laws from taking effect unless in agreement with federal law

David French, The South is a Pro-Life Stronghold (National Review, Jul 11, 2019) admits that the South was the stronghold of slavery and Jim Crow, but does not consider that the retributive justice ethic that informed and undergirded both of those forms of racism also affects gender relations and perceptions of responsibility in the case of abortion

Ja’han Jones, For Black Women With Means, Money Isn’t The Only Barrier To Abortion Access (Huffington Post, Jul 11, 2019) “Many Black women who can afford to pay for an abortion are still denied the freedom to do so, and not due to an abortion ban” but by availability and access, and “black conservatism”

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: domestic policy topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: philosophical influences