What we misunderstand about religion's role in the abortion debate

Religion is not the only factor that drives Americans' views on abortion.

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  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    May 27, 2019 12:42 p.m.

    Flipphone - "It does not matter if you are a person of Christian faith or not. Abortion is the taking of an innocent unborn life. And That is Wrong."

    Wrong on all three assertions. And repeatedly asserting it does nothing to make it true, nor does it convince anyone but yourself.

  • Flipphone , 00
    May 27, 2019 12:18 p.m.

    It does not matter if you are a person of Christian faith or not. Abortion is the taking of an innocent unborn life. And That is Wrong.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 27, 2019 7:15 a.m.

    What the religious activists don't know or don't tell:

    - There are fewer abortions than ever, mostly because there are fewer unwanted pregnancies due to better access to contraception.

    - Activists try to characterize those getting abortions as free wheeling, sexually promiscuous singles using abortion ads birth control to avoid becoming a parent.

    In fact, 60% of people who have abortions are already parents.

    - The majority of people who get abortions identify as religious:

    30% Mainline Protestant or evangelical
    24% Roman Catholic

    - Despite the lies otherwise, NO US abortion laws allow doctors to kill babies after they are born.

    - Only 1.4% of abortions happen at 21 weeks or later, usually because of delays caused by the barriers to abortion access created by activists.

    In short, religious activists are really not trying to save lives; they are trying to flex their religious muscles and send "message bills" so everyone knows "this is a Christian nation!" - even though it is not!

    Innocent women and children will be the victims of this power play.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 24, 2019 1:35 p.m.

    @Stacey23;

    Prove it's what "god wants". But first you need to prove that "god" exists. Good luck. Your comment proves that the issue really is about religion for you - you're trying to force yours onto other women.

    @Susan in VA;

    Well said.

    @IJ;

    Reference what I said to Stacey23;

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    May 24, 2019 10:15 a.m.

    NoNamesAccepted writes,

    "Those who are most adamant about not telling women what to do with their bodies when it comes to elective abortion are also the strongest advocates of mandatory vaccines, seat belt, and helmet laws."

    Indeed. But you didn't say why.

    Because people who don't get vaccines depend on the rest of us to pay their medical bills when they get sick. We either pay directly through higher insurance premiums, if they're insured, or through higher premiums because the rates went up because the hospitals lost money caring for them if they didn't have insurance. And we're not talking about a few hundred in costs-- last month there was an article about a child with a tetanus infection whose life cost over a half million to save. As it should be--it wasn't the kid's fault that the parents refused to vaccinate.

    Seat belts and helmets--same thing. You get banged up and we all pay for your hospitalization and care for your disabled body.

    We're not a society who says that if you do something stupid, we're going to let you bleed to death, or, if you are a quadriplegic with no income, starve. At least, not yet.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    May 24, 2019 9:22 a.m.

    I am pro-choice simply because I don't think the government should be controlling it's citizens body. I am no in favor of forced birth any more than I would be in favor of forced abortion.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 24, 2019 9:21 a.m.

    @No Names Accepted writes, "Don't try to normalize pre-marital or homosexual sex, don't push any agenda, and there isn't pushback to education."

    Community standards are, by definition, what the majority of the people in that community actually do--not what they claim they do. The dominant religion prohibits pre-marital sex, but if the overwhelming majority of adults in Utah are not virgins at the time of marriage, it's hard to conclude that pre-marital sex is something other than "normal".

    And, like it or not, but abstinence based sex education inadvertently encourages out-of-wedlock pregnancy. It has a dismal track record of preventing premarital sex, but worse, when the graduates of this program do have sex, they are far less likely to use contraceptives than people who had comprehensive sex ed classes.

  • Laura Billington Maple Valley, WA
    May 24, 2019 8:35 a.m.

    Every DN article about abortion includes at least one comment which criticizes the reason for the choice as "convenience".

    Ten of my fourteen children are adopted. Two were minority race babies. The other eight ranged from three to twelve when they were placed with us. But they were all beautiful and they made us proud to be their parents.

    As I write this, there are over 100 children in Utah alone who are available for adoption. No, they are not perfect white babies, and most are school age. I have repeatedly asked DN commenters why they do not adopt one of these children. Only one, ever replied, and he said that he already had five children and couldn't afford any more.

    It seems to me that that is the perfect definition of "inconvenience".

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2019 5:29 a.m.

    "American views on abortion are relatively stable. Since 1976, the percentage of U.S. adults who say abortion should be legal in all circumstances or illegal in all circumstances has moved only a few percentage points, according to Gallup." The crux of the difficulties involved in dealing with abortion stem from exactly this idea -- that there is no viable "middle ground" in the debate about how, and whether to regulate it. More than practically any other major moral issue, abortion sharply divides us. Roe v. Wade was the Supreme Court's attempt to split the baby (pun not intended) by protecting a perceived Constitutional right to privacy during the first trimester but allow states to fully regulate the procedure after that. The chief strength -- and ironically, the chief weakness -- in that compromise is that it made neither side happy. But that may also be the single best reason to suggest that the case was rightly decided.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2019 9:41 p.m.

    New to Utah - Provo, UT "Roe has nothing that stipulates if it’s overturned that all abortion is illegal. It goes back to the states."
    Seven states have already passed laws to ban abortion if Roe is overturned. Roe is protecting the choice that you said you prefer -- " rape, incest, life of the mother".

    "reasonable protection would most likely happen."
    Alabama passed a law without provision for rape. That is not "most likely" reasonable.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    May 23, 2019 8:34 p.m.

    Moderate your reasoning is completely bogus. Roe has nothing that stipulates if it’s overturned that all abortion is illegal. It goes back to the states. I don’t see Roe providing any protection. Extreme reasoning like all abortion will be banned if Roe is overturned simply isn’t true. It would give more discretion to the states and reasonable protection would most likely happen.

  • Count Rushmore Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2019 7:27 p.m.

    A swing and a miss.

  • dmacpherson Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2019 6:50 p.m.

    " One of the things I always say to people is that I'm both pro-choice and pro-life. I think that's not an uncommon position for people who are liberal people of faith. "

    Thank You!!!

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2019 6:19 p.m.

    New to Utah - Provo, UT "I’m pro life and would approve of Roe being overturned. I also believe there are times that abortion should be available, like rape, incest, life of the mother."

    A number of people make statements like this, not realizing they contradict themselves. If you favor any exception to abortion, you are pro-choice. Given that choice, you prefer life. If Roe is overturned, states can completely ban abortion. If you believe in exceptions like "life of the mother", then the only protection is Roe.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    May 23, 2019 5:33 p.m.

    This is a thought provoking article. I’m pro life and would approve of Roe being overturned. I also believe there are times that abortion should be available, like rape, incest, life of the mother. I have been sickened by Governor Northam of Virginia and Cuomo of NY who seem to favor infanticide. Constitutionally I think it should be decided by individual states.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 23, 2019 5:01 p.m.

    The Abortion debate is known in political circles as a "Wedge Issue." It is aimed at those who are one-issue voters.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 23, 2019 4:34 p.m.

    You lost me at “experts “. I love all knowing experts that are unnamed.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    May 23, 2019 4:12 p.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted
    "You are certainly correct about the latter point. You are correct in theory about how to do that."
    Not theory. Practice. We have data on this. Expanded sex-ed leads to later onset of sexual activity, more safe-sex practices when they do, and consequently fewer teen pregnancies and abortions.

    Abstinence-only education (the kind favored by conservatives) leads to earlier onset of sexual activity, more risky sex, more teen pregnancies, and more abortions.

    This is only controversial as a partisan matter. The science is pretty conclusive.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    May 23, 2019 3:49 p.m.

    I found the “all adults” to be by far the most significant statistic on the by religion chart.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 23, 2019 3:49 p.m.

    a_voice_of_reason - Woods Cross, UT
    ---
    I'm going to limit my comment to just one issue you brought up for lack of space. You said religious folks often let ill-defined tenets of their religion drive them to contradictory political stances including being pro-life, but supporting the death penalty, gun rights, and opposing social safety nets. I'll explain why those aren't contradictory to me.
    ---

    There is no mandate in the New Testament for a Christian to protect themselves from loss of life. The final hours of Jesus himself and lives of the Apostles are proof positive that they did not 'arm up', and in fact, went to their deaths by various horrible means, without recourse to violence to attempt to avoid death.

    The believers in the early church also practiced non-violent response to threats of violence for nearly 300 years.

    Current Christians use the smorgasbord approach to the Old Testament. They pick a few laws, given to the ancient Hebrews, perhaps use a bit of the history of Israel, to form a melange of rules, but the plain fact is , these are just interpretations, and not written commandments.

    Even "Thou shalt not kill", plainly written, is given a litany of exceptions.

  • ji_ Ketchikan, AK
    May 23, 2019 3:31 p.m.

    I like the Prophet Joseph Smith’s statement that he teaches correct principles and allows church members to govern themselves.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    May 23, 2019 3:01 p.m.

    @BillMcGee:

    I'm going to limit my comment to just one issue you brought up for lack of space. You said religious folks often let ill-defined tenets of their religion drive them to contradictory political stances including being pro-life, but supporting the death penalty, gun rights, and opposing social safety nets. I'll explain why those aren't contradictory to me.

    I am pro life because I believe in protecting a life that has no voice or means of protection - like an already born infant. I do not oppose the death penalty because that is a consequence of decisions made by the individual; they aren't innocent. While I choose not to own guns, I support reasonable gun rights because 1) It is an enumerated Constitutional right and 2) I know many who love guns as a form of recreation. It's a hobby. Though potentially dangerous, so are alcohol, sports cars, etc. Finally, I believe in a limited (not absent) safety net because I believe the government is terrible at administering welfare in a way to promote self-reliance. I already donate generously to causes that help lift those in need more effectively than the government. With lower taxes (for welfare) I could do more of this.

  • MacD slc, UT
    May 23, 2019 2:52 p.m.

    A women’s right to privacy ends when the baby she is carrying is able to survive outside of her womb. At this critical time the baby should now also be protected by our constitution.
    Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    May 23, 2019 2:47 p.m.

    Great article. Made some wonderful, thought-provoking points.

    Now, I have to address at least one (probably more comments) that fall along with a party-line. I'm really tired of being asked, how can a bunch of male legislators think they should tell women what to do with their bodies. That's a stupid comment. None of those legislators are trying to outlaw hairstyles, clothing preferences, or general medical care. Does abortion impact a woman's body? Absolutely. But, the body they are concerning themselves with is impacted far more - that is the baby. The baby that is alive inside that mother's body has no means of protection. If a woman asked a doctor to kill her 1-month old baby because she didn't want him/her society would go crazy. Both would be in prison. With abortion, it is accepted and protected.

    Now, your opinion may differ from mine. I understand that. But don't make the argument sound like it's a bunch of controlling men trying to punish women. There are men and women on both sides of this argument. Pro-choice advocates may see this as a women's rights issue. Pro-life advocates see it as a human (the babies) rights issue.

  • MacD slc, UT
    May 23, 2019 2:37 p.m.

    The advances in medicine which have made third trimester fetuses viable outside the womb has change this debate.
    The conservative right in Alabama is hurting these babies chances at life by creating legislation that is so restrictive that reasonable people will disagree with a blanket ban even in cases of rape or incest.
    Most reasonable people would agree to restrict abortion to only those babies that are not viable outside the mothers body.
    with the exceptions of rape, incest, or the mother’s health/life. This moderate approach would garner more support and if legislated would quickly protect thousands of third trimester babies.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    May 23, 2019 2:32 p.m.

    Nonames- " Those who are most adamant about not telling women what to do with their bodies when it comes to elective abortion are also the strongest advocates of mandatory vaccines, seat belt, and helmet laws.

    Those who are most adamant about keeping all abortions legal so as to assure that victims of rape don't have to carry that pregnancy, are also the most opposed to women being able to carry a firearm to help prevent rape in the first place."

    Not true at all!

    Try finding other sources for your alleged "facts".

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 23, 2019 2:05 p.m.

    NoNamesAccepted - St. George, UT
    ---
    For example: Those who are most adamant about not telling women what to do with their bodies when it comes to elective abortion are also the strongest advocates of mandatory vaccines, seat belt, and helmet laws.
    ---

    These several examples are false equivalences. In the case of 'vaccines', the issue is not that a particular child may be susceptible to a disease, but that the child can spread the disease to others.

    Unless other women can be either given abortions by contact with a woman who has recently had one, the similarity ends.

    The other examples such as vehicle safety, is to preserver those who are born from the acts of negligence or other causes of automobile accidents.

    As it is one can take a case to civil court and sue someone who is responsible for an accident, which results in the death of an fetus, and any damage to the pregnant women herself.

    Unless there are additional circumstances, such as alcohol use, or intentional acts of violence, this situation is just a civil case and not a criminal case.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 23, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    @Furry1993: " tools to avoid the start of pregnancy...abortion will cease ...."

    You are certainly correct about the latter point. You are correct in theory about how to do that. But in practice it doesn't seem to be working. Fully 48% of all abortions are repeat abortions.

    We are told that PP offers more than just abortions. They provide contraceptives, education, testing, etc. Certainly when a woman shows up to end and unintended, unplanned, unwanted pregnancy, the good folks at PP provide her with comprehensive education, with birth control, with condoms. Even still, nearly one-half of all women who show up for abortions have been there at least once before. Knowing and doing are clearly two different things.

    We do not lack in education. Decades ago my sex ed class in rural, homogenous, highly religous Utah was very comprehensive. Only when sex ed cross the line into graphic or presented data in a way hostile to or intended to undermine parental, community, or church standards was there any demand to limit what was taught. Respect parental values, don't try to normalize pre-marital or homosexual sex, don't push any agenda, and there isn't pushback to education.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 23, 2019 1:44 p.m.

    The most interesting aspect of the abortion debate to me, is how it melds with other socio-political views and what the total of someone's views reveal about the underlying principles and the degree to which they are self-consistent.

    For example: Those who are most adamant about not telling women what to do with their bodies when it comes to elective abortion are also the strongest advocates of mandatory vaccines, seat belt, and helmet laws.

    Those who are most adamant about keeping all abortions legal so as to assure that victims of rape don't have to carry that pregnancy, are also the most opposed to women being able to carry a firearm to help prevent rape in the first place.

    With the notable exception of observant Catholics, those who favor legalized elective abortions tend to oppose capital punishment and vice-versa.

    I suspect and fear that for far too many on both sides of the abortion (and many other issues) question, the issue has become a matter of dogmatic political faith rather than the result of carefully considered application of core values. We might all do well to examine our own inconsitencies and then honestly try to understand others' point of view.

  • All American Herriman, UT
    May 23, 2019 12:31 p.m.

    @InMyOpinion - Roe v Wade is not a law, but a court decision about a law. See Guido Pescatore's correct explanation.

    Roe v. Wade was a landmark 1973 Supreme Court 'decision' that established a woman's legal right to an abortion. The Court ruled, in a 7-2 decision, that a woman's right to choose an abortion was protected by the privacy rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 23, 2019 12:09 p.m.

    Furry1993 - MSC, UT
    ---
    Keep the pregnancies from starting and abortion will cease to be an issue.
    ---

    One of the main forced involved in politicizing the issue has been the Catholic Church. The church's teachings on matters of birth control, in vitro fertilization(IVF), and abortion, all are condemned, save for the birth control methods of rhythm method, and abstinence. The former is the best way to become parents, the latter, for married couples is not recommended at least for long periods of time, and of course, given the various scandals, many fail over life long periods.

    The Religious Right wants to roll sexual matters back to the 50s, when women were either forced to carry a pregnancy to term, or engage in crime.

    There was one method that seemed to work for some, a hysterectomy, based on medical considerations other than 'birth control'.

    No current law requires that a woman have an abortion, although when the woman is held to be incompetent by a court process, parent, guardian or state may take that path.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 23, 2019 12:05 p.m.

    If we shouldn't have sex with someone without their consent, it also is true that we shouldn't kill someone else without their consent. Doubly so.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 23, 2019 12:01 p.m.

    What a totally misleading title, and text. The article even undermines its own premise.

    --- From the article.
    The widening gap between the parties can be explained, in part, by religion, Williams said. Amid the rise of the Religious Right, conservative faith leaders successfully convinced Republican politicians to turn abortion opposition into a rallying point.
    ---

    Right there, "Faith Leaders have successfully convince the Republican Politicians...". If that is not a significant religious component to the political debate, I don't know what is.

    This is not some theological concept worked to in some seminary to be promulgated to the believers of a specific faith, but the influence of religious beliefs on a political party.

    Many christian denominations that leave this question to the woman. But current political groups think that their beliefs in these matters override an individual's choices in their faith as well as their practice.

    The Bible is silent on such topics as abortion. There is there mention of causing a miscarriage, and the remedy is to pay for damage. Which is a tort rather than crime. Nothing more is mentioned.

    For the Bible life begins at that first breath.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 23, 2019 11:58 a.m.

    The extreme examples cited to emotionalize the arguments are often just deflection tactics.
    The unfortunate truth, as measured by the Guttmacher Institute, is that over 70% of abortions are for the self-reported reason of "it is too inconvenient for the mother".
    We could probably have a meaningful conversation about exceptions in extreme circumstances, but we first have to acknowledge that issues surrounding the creation of human life are serious issues that need to be handled carefully. Certainly abortion should not be simply "birth control for lazy people who want to escape their responsibilities."

  • Guido Pescatore Layton, UT
    May 23, 2019 11:57 a.m.

    @Stacy23 - "That life might not be what you want right now, but sometimes it's not what you want that's important. It's what God wants."

    Presuming that every pregnancy is the result of a desirable action is preposterous, but let's follow your logic here for a second: if a man chooses to rape a woman, that's what God wants, and God wants her to carry that baby and care for it as a reminder of the trauma she endured? That does not sound like the God I believe in.

    @rbwinn - "Roe v. Wade... was a wrong decision."

    We have 3 branches of government. The legislative branch creates the laws, the executive branch enforces them, and the judicial weighs whether the law adheres to the Constitution when someone questions that. In the case of Roe v. Wade, the justices did just that - they looked at a law that was created by the Texas legislature, decided that it did not conform to the rights guaranteed individuals in the Constitution, and decided that the law was illegal under the 14th Amendment. You don't have to agree with their decision, and clearly it is not an issue that is going to die anytime soon, but for the time being, the Supreme Court has ruled.

  • search diligently Lehi, UT
    May 23, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    This article may miss one element as to why more conservatives are pro-life vs pro-abortion.

    A greater percentage of religious people consider themselves conservatives than liberals and thus identify better with Republican and conservative values.

  • Dmorgan Herriman, UT
    May 23, 2019 10:55 a.m.

    I agree the abortion debate is more nuanced than religion and politics. Yet, when the majority of commenters mention "god" in their comments it's rather easy to conclude the real source of the anti-abortion angst.

    When the US has needed to increase its armed forces in times of conflict, it has instituted a system of mandatory conscription, aka "draft". This was last used during the Vietnam war to increase the number of needed military personnel. I was assigned a lottery number. Since statistics show that there are far fewer willing persons who desire to adopt than there are children to be adopted, especially regarding children of color, and the assumed future condition that this number will increase as a result of recent anti-abortion legislation, I propose a mandatory "draft" of adoptive parents. ALL legal couples would be required to submit applications to state social services using the same criteria as perspective adoptive parents. When your "number comes up" you report to the hospital to receive your infant. This system would alleviate the economic burden to government that will come due to the increase in population.

    You wouldn't like not having a choice? How ironic.

  • MrLogic Brigham City, UT
    May 23, 2019 10:45 a.m.

    Headlines like this are condescending and annoying. You have no idea what I think or what my background is. Certainly a few of your readers are political scientists.

    Don't condescend to your readers. You are not smarter than all of them.

  • dgw Clovis, CA
    May 23, 2019 10:40 a.m.

    @Orson: The article correctly quoted the church's handbook of instructions.

  • lindaj72 SF, CA
    May 23, 2019 10:33 a.m.

    I believe just about everything has been said on this subject. I commented my 2 cents worth on another article. I have pondered this subject for some time as I was blessed with 2 disabled children and a normal one. I learned so much from them. They have all been a blessing in my life. When we leave this earth I believe we will be met by spirits we knew on earth. Imagine a woman who aborted a child for whatever reason, and when she goes to the spirit world and is met by a spirit she doesn't recognize. That spirit then says "why did you not want to be my mother. I am still waiting for my turn on earth." Just something to think about. Choices have consequences.

  • InMyOpinion Federal Way, WA
    May 23, 2019 9:53 a.m.

    What's really missing here is the lack of understanding what's in the Constitution saying there shall be no laws made on the basis of religion. In other words, you can not create laws for religious sakes. Not enough people realize this or taking about it. Imagone a law created by a religion (or a partisan party) forcing people to read the Bible on Sundays or they will be given the death penalty or pay a fine. That's similar to what happening now. Religion needs to stay out of politics. This is a decision only a woman can make and with advice from her doctor because without the choice, thousands of women will die needlessly. We are the managers of our destiny. Not when people say it is God's will. He already told us to make wise choices. That kind of ideology is what ruins and kills nations. Laws wanted like this. Roe and Wade is a wise law which tells people not to put religion into their laws.

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    May 23, 2019 9:43 a.m.

    Many oppose abortion... but with exceptions. If you believe that there is a need for 'exceptions' then you're in favor of abortions. You can't have it both ways.

    I believe abortion is wrong. I would like to think I'd never encourage a person to get an abortion, but I don't know what circumstances I or a loved one might be faced with in the future. That can be said for all of us. We don't know what the future holds.

    Those who want to eliminate abortion as a protected right are not considering the circumstances another person (woman) might be facing. I would like that person to have more than one choice when facing that difficult situation.

    Yes, some people have a callous attitude towards the unborn. But again, I'm not that person! They have to live with their choices and I am forced to live with mine. But having that choice is important.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 23, 2019 9:35 a.m.

    EscherEnigma - "@Stacey23: 'It's surprising to me that this is still a debate after 1776 when the bill of rights [...]'
    (A) You're thinking of the Declaration of Independence which, while an inspiring document and important to American history, is not actually part of our government."

    Indeed, and even if we considered the Declaration of Independence as a legal foundation in any way, it clearly states:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident: ...they [men?] are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights... Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..."

    Who is the "creator" of a fetus? The biological mother and the biological father. If they, and particularly the mother, do not "endow" the fetus with "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", then the fetus has no legal status as a "person".

    Personhood is not a biological event. It is a social construct about which many humans have many different opinions. YOUR opinion NEVER has more weight than the opinion of the Mother!

    Why are some people so eager to embrace Government overreach, meddling in the personal freedoms of recognized US citizens, and the invasion of laws into our personal health decisions?

  • rbwinn Maricopa, AZ
    May 23, 2019 9:20 a.m.

    The main problem with the abortion debate is that it is founded on a court decision, Roe v. Wade, which, like the Dred Scott decision, was a wrong decision. In terms of what Roe v. Wade actually means, Norma McCorvey was given permission to kill a child who had already been born, as long as she paid an abortion doctor to commit the homicide. Court decisions of this kind are used to perpetrate atrocities throughout history, including slavery and genocide. Courts are not legislatures, regardless of however many lawyers say they are. Court decisions are opinions and apply to the case before the court, not to all humans on earth. Wrong court decisions should not be used to justify killing 60,000,000 children or enslaving entire populations. The people of a nation are wrong when they allow it to happen.

  • Boomstickdad Provo, TX
    May 23, 2019 9:15 a.m.

    "Conservative lawmakers do often credit God with inspiring new regulations, but they're also pressured by their party to pass such laws."
    So, liberal/leftist lawmakers aren't pressured by their party to pass abortion laws? Give us a break. We may be "wrong" about motivations in abortion legislation, as the headline patronizingly hammers us over the head with, but we know enough to understand that is a slanted statement by the writer. In fact, the gist of the story seems to be: If you knuckleheads just knew more, you'd be on my side. (Guess which side that is.)

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    May 23, 2019 9:04 a.m.

    @Stacey23
    "It's surprising to me that this is still a debate after 1776 when the bill of rights [...]"
    (A) You're thinking of the Declaration of Independence which, while an inspiring document and important to American history, is not actually part of our governmetn.
    (B) Following the Revolutionary War, the states organized a government under the Articles of Confederations. This wouldn't last, leading us to...
    (C) The Constitution was drafted and ratified in 1789 after the Articles failed. The Bill of Rights (aka, the first ten amendments) would be ratified by the states over the following years.

    So in summary... you're thinking of the wrong document, that was written in the wrong decade, that's never been a part of any American government.

    And that said...
    "You shouldn't get off easy by having a doctor do it for you. It's your sin to take a life. If you're intent on doing that, you need to do it yourself and face the consequences."
    First trimester abortions (the most common kind) are most often medication abortions. Meaning the woman takes a pill, and then a few hours later, takes another pill.

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    May 23, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    Want to drastically reduce or eliminate abortions? Always use a condom. Always. And as you get a little older give some real thought to getting a vasectomy. It’s quite painless and very easy. I got mine eleven years ago. Between using a condom and getting a vasectomy the rate of abortions will fall drastically.

    As for the religion side of it. There are numerous fertility clinics all over America that destroy hundreds of zygotes every day the same age as those abortions prohibited in Georgia and Alabama. The only difference between those and the abortions is that one is inside a woman and the other isn’t. Yet no religion is targeting those clinics.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 23, 2019 8:09 a.m.

    Nice clickbait headline...

  • Stacey23 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2019 7:50 a.m.

    It's surprising to me that this is still a debate after 1776 when the bill of rights included the words "right to life...". If you kill your baby, you're taking a life. That life might not be what you want right now, but sometimes it's not what you want that's important. It's what God wants.

    And if you're pregnant, if he took the time to bless you with a soul to care for, it's your responsibility to follow through. Even if it's hard. Even if it keeps you from partying with your friends. Even if it forces you to make tough decisions on whether you should have cable TV or diapers.

    Finally, if you want to kill your baby that's up to you, but like Ned Stark says, 'let him that passes judgement swing the sword'. You shouldn't get off easy by having a doctor do it for you. It's your sin to take a life. If you're intent on doing that, you need to do it yourself and face the consequences.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2019 7:39 a.m.

    For an interesting history lesson, read about the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (CSS) formed in May 1967. It was a group of over 2,000 ministers across the US and Canada who helped women obtain abortions and lobbied to overturn anti-abortion law.

    "For these clergy, freedom of religion had to include freedom from those religious groups that sought to place restrictions on abortions. They publicly challenged restrictive abortion laws as infringements upon religious freedoms."

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    May 23, 2019 7:34 a.m.

    This article's reference to the position and action of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not very accurate. Just two years ago in February the Ensign carried a strong statement by Elder Cook opposing abortion (A Banquet of Consequences—The Cumulative Result of All Choices).

    One of the reasons that the church doesn't have to always be politically involved in abortion debates and demonstrations is simply that it's position is so well known and deeply rooted that Latter-day Saints know that, whatever their individual views on the issue might be, if they perform or have an abortion, aside from a few rare exceptions, they will probably be excommunicated. That pretty well settles the matter for all but the most extreme liberal activists on the fringes of the Church.

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    May 23, 2019 7:15 a.m.

    I honestly don't understand this debate! I am not a proponent of abortion for myself.... I am really Pro-life.... however, I don't have to live in another woman's body and life and don't know what drives her decisions. People are screaming about Freedom of Religion, yet those same people are trying to force their religious beliefs on others that may not be of their religion. Many of the legislators are actually pro-birth, not pro-life... they (seem) passionate about this legislation, yet refuse to pass meaningful legislation to care for these children once they are born.... not help to feed them nor provide health care, So at this point, those same women, who's bodies were regulated are on their own.... no help. This cannot continue! Why do mostly male legislators think it's OK to tell women what they can do with their bodies? Why do Religions think it's OK to tell everyone that they MUST follow their beliefs? What happened to freedom to live one's own life?

  • Nathan Andelin West Jordan, UT
    May 23, 2019 7:01 a.m.

    Our daughter is due to give birth to twins in a few weeks. It has been a difficult pregnancy. I've been over to her house nearly every day to help clean and do other chores. Other family members, neighbors and friends have stepped in by providing meals, babysitting her young children, personal services, acts of kindness, and extraordinary generosity. We yearn for her well-being and a safe delivery of the babies. We thank everyone who is making sacrifices to that end.

  • BillMcGee Alpine, UT
    May 23, 2019 6:35 a.m.

    Religion isn't a real factor on the issue of abortion. The problem is a lack of religion.

    The Bible is silent on abortion. Members of the Jewish faith, for example, generally support a woman's right to choose because they believe that a fetus is part of a woman's body until it draws its first breath.

    In spite of any real biblical support, Conservative Christian sects have co-opted the issue of abortion and made it table stakes for their faith largely because they lack a clearly defined theology. It is always easier to define yourself by identifying what you are against than what you are for. Strongly held beliefs and doctrines are not theology.

    Individuals whose faith revolves around a tiny handful of issues—abortion, women's rights, or "religious freedom" (for some current examples)—not only disable their own spiritual development, but tend to conflate their political views with their religious ones. Religious people opposed to abortion, for example, also tend to support the death penalty and gun ownership and oppose social safety nets with the exact same fervor and conviction, blissfully unaware of the glaring contradiction.

    Politicians are all too willing to exploit this.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    May 23, 2019 6:34 a.m.

    If people understood the plan of salvation that our Heavenly Father has organized for us they would understand the sanctity of life, the importance of obedience to His commandments, and would never get themselves in this position; and abortions would be rare. If they truly comprehended their divine possibilities they would have their eyes firmly riveted on the glory God has in store for the faithful and would not stray. However, not being able to see, every man seeks the instance gratification of this world and sees no need to reign in the natural man desires, gets in a regrettable position, sees no way out, and does that which is an abomination before his Maker. Churches need to teach the truth and let their paritioners govern themselves and not worry that they might lose some in attendance.

  • Guido Pescatore Layton, UT
    May 23, 2019 6:14 a.m.

    The problem with the argument today is that it is being cast in an all or nothing light. Personally I oppose abortion as an alternative to birth control. I also realize that I don't understand every individual's situation, and I believe that there are legitimate reasons for this procedure, so having an outright ban on abortions is not the answer either.

    People are quick to point out that if guns are banned, people will have them anyhow. It is the same with abortion - if a woman chooses to get an abortion, she will find a person or a method to carry it out. Picking and choosing which morality to legislate seems disingenuous. If individuals truly want to protect the sanctity of pregnancy, perhaps greater emphasis should be placed on sexual education and providing options for birth control for those who want it but cannot afford it, then provide a safe environment for those who need an abortion can receive one.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    May 23, 2019 6:13 a.m.

    Something is missing from this story -- the fact that the best way to prevent abortion is to prevent the CAUSE of abortion -- unwanted pregnancy. That can be best done by giving men and women the tools to avoid the start of pregnancy (not just teaching avoidance of sex as the only tool). Start comprehensive age-appropriate sex education (abstinence-plus, not abstinence-only) starting at a very young age. Ensuring that men and women have easily obtainable and low-cost or (better) no-cost contraception are the best ways to start doing that.

    Keep the pregnancies from starting and abortion will cease to be an issue.