Orthodoxy in Dialogue is often misrepresented—whether through wilful malice or a careless reading—as “pro-abortion” or “pro-choice.” Nothing could be further from the truth. We uphold the Orthodox Church’s traditional position from time immemorial that our loving God brings a new human person “from nonexistence into being” at the moment of the child’s conception—and this, admittedly beyond our ability to comprehend, no matter how sinful, tragic, violent, or even artificial the event which results in a child. Abortion always ends a child’s life.
This theological conviction nevertheless requires the Church’s utmost pastoral sensitivity when a woman is presently faced, or has been faced in the past, with a pregnancy which she considers or considered intolerable.
At the same time, we recognize three realities of our fallen human condition:
First, restricting or denying access to legal abortion performed by medically trained personnel kills women, the sanctity of whose lives we affirm no less than the lives of their unborn children.
Second, marching in annual parades, followed by feasting sumptuously at the after-parade banquet, has never saved a single child’s life.
And third, abortion is the sin of all of us, not just the individual women who have them or those who perform them. We must stop demonizing women, and instead listen to them, hear their needs, discern collaboratively with them how best we can help them.
The following titles at Orthodoxy in Dialogue are listed in chronological order:
Sexuality & Gender: Open Letter to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America
Through the month of January we invite articles or letters to the editors in response to the above.