April 1, 2004
(AgapePress) - Many conservatives may be surprised to learn that, in the battle over abortion, the vast majority of religious denominations and their clergy support the pro-abortion side.
At many of the pro-homosexual rights and pro-abortion rights rallies that take place across the United States, a large contingent of clergy who support these rights can often be found. Conservative Christians often find it difficult to understand how members of the Church and especially the clergy can support ideas and lifestyles that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
Nevertheless, these members are in the Church, and they have a rationale for their positions. One such clergy member is Dr. Roselyn Smith-Withers, an African-American minister in the Baptist church. She believes that abortion is a decision that can be sanctioned by God. "I believe God speaks to women and enables them to make decisions for themselves," she says.
The Baptist clergy member, who is a clergy counselor for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, considers herself a "Christian pro-choice advocate." She recently testified in a congressional committee hearing and told members of Congress she believes God sometimes directs women to have abortions.
"I believe that when we do not agree or understand the challenges that a woman is facing, we can be absolutely certain that God understands," Smith-Withers says.
The pro-abortion-rights minister contends that her Christian faith does not conflict with her position that women "have the moral authority to make decisions that are healthy, helpful, good, and of God," even if one of those decisions is to end the life of an unborn child.
Smith-Withers recently told Congress that God can enable a woman to choose abortion as her best option, and it is part of her ministry to alert women to this. "I believe that God has called me to a ministry that includes compassion for all of God's children, through all phases of their experience," she says.