A Reverence for Reproductive Justice

Rev. Matthew Westfox appears on MSNBC to talk about Christianity and reproductive rights.

The Reverend Matthew Westfox is on a mission from God: to make justice and compassion central to the discussion of reproductive rights among people of Christian faith. In his appearance on MSNBC with Melissa Harris-Perry, Matthew Westfox appeals to Christian Americans on abortion access on on the basis of shared articles of faith: as Christians, and as Americans.

The Bible no more mentions a ban on abortion than it mentions air conditioner repair. Neither was being talked about two thousand years ago, and yet people of faith seek a message in their sacred texts that helps them answer the challenges they face today. “I think we are commanded to seek justice and compassion and at this time and place it’s fitting that we discuss what that looks like in terms of reproductive justice,” Westfox tells The Good Men Project.

In his MSNBC appearance, Rev. Westfox humanizes those who seek out abortions—many are mothers already, he reminds us; their decisions are often difficult; and faith is a factor for many—as well as some of those who provide abortion services.

During the interview, MSNBC intercut images of protests with those of the studio where Westfox spoke, reminding me not of those who protest for reproductive rights, but those who fight against those rights by characterizing these mothers and saviors as demonic murderers. It’s a powerful image Westfox is countering, but they are of good versus evil, of humans we can support and empathize with, versus the other side’s characterizations of “abortion doctors” and their patients as the Devil.

Rev. Westfox tells the GMP:

As a Christian, I feel a particularly responsibility to work for reproductive justice. Not just because scripture calls us to work for justice. Not just because my faith teaches us that we are wonderfully made by a Creator who has granted everyone of us the gift of conscience- the ability to make our own decisions about what is best in aspects of our lives such as reproduction. Beyond that, I do this work because it is people who share my faith, who speak the same name of God that I do, who have done so much damage by preaching a gospel of misogyny and intolerance. There are so many wonderful people of faith, of so many faiths, who are struggling every day to turn back the tide and work for reproductive justice. I’m just honored to be among them.

It’s a fight I hope he can win.

 

Read more on Abortion on The Good Life.

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About Justin Cascio

Justin Cascio is a writer, trans man, and biome. His most recent publication is a short memoir, "Heartbreak and Detox," available on Kindle.
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Comments

  1. wellokaythen says:

    He has his work cut out for him.

    It’s hard enough getting some people of faith to let go of the idea that God has commanded humans to reproduce as much as possible. A lot of pronatalist Christians find it hard to accept the concept of limiting reproduction in any way whatsoever. I’m not even talking about birth control devices or medical procedures, I’m just talking about the simple idea that you might choose not to use all of your fertility or might choose not to have children at all.

  2. Simple Mind says:

    I come from the land of simple minds.

    God created education to counter overpopulation.

    God created religion to counter education.

    That’s how a simple mind sees it.

  3. Opposition to abortion is based on the assumption that all people are created in the image of God and that life is therefore sacred.

    For a member of the clergy to ignore that is to break with the history of Christianity. I know that is the generally held view now, but the traditional view should at least have been acknowledged.

    I continue to make my way through the minefield here as i know that disagreement is not encouraged, but I don;t know how to make statements otherwise.

    • @Tim, it’s not an assumption but a belief. I like what you said though.

      • It is the underlying assumption of Christianity – as well as Judaism and Islam. It is also assumed in Hinduism, where the soul enters a body chosen before birth.

        It is an assumption in the sense that it is a presupposition for standards and a view of human beings. There is no precedent in history for the current view of abortion. It is the product of the first totally materialist culture in history.

  4. Wow, all my references to Christian, Jewish and Islam scriptural readings was thrown out. VERY disappointing.

    The man said the bible doesn’t say abortion is wrong but there are readings that reference it. Perhaps there was no “word” that represented the work “abortion” but there is plenty of reference to the unborn life.

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