Opinion | Fetal Personhood: Another Big Lie From the Christian Right

1/28/2022 7:56:00 PM

Make no mistake, the idea of fetal personhood was invented to strengthen and consolidate political and social power.

Make no mistake, the idea of fetal personhood was invented to strengthen and consolidate political and social power.

Make no mistake, the idea of fetal personhood was invented to strengthen and consolidate political and social power.

The fact that we have such inadequate language and theology about pregnancy and the development of prenatal life is not an accident. It is a direct reflection of millennia of patriarchy..., but it is “the face of the deep” and “the waters” from which the heavens and earth initially spring (Gen 1:1-2), the seas that “bring forth” many “swarms of living creatures,” and the earth that “puts forth vegetation” and “brings forth” the “living creatures of every kind” (Gen 1:11 and 1:20-24).

The one time when God does do most of the work is in the creation ofadamahhis bodily creation and once God breathes the “breath of life” into his nostrils that Adam comes into existence as a “living being.” (Gen 2:7). The creation and procreation of living beings is a material process that occurs over significant time, according to this biblical view, which means that Genesis 1-3 actually flatly refutes the notion that “life begins at conception.” 

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Yet, a close look at Genesis 1-3 reveals that neither creation nor the procreation of humans came about quickly or at God’s word alone. Rather, God engages in a process of co-creation over time in which the material labor, the work of creating new life is largely done by “the deep,” “the earth,” “the seas,” and, of course, Eve. So, it's time for a change.  The fact that we have such inadequate language and theology about pregnancy and the development of prenatal life is not an accident.” We are asking the Biden administration to ignore Big Pharma lobbyists, and prioritize saving American lives. It is a direct reflection of millennia of patriarchy. Generally, sleep specialists suggest that the lifespan of a mattress is 8 to 10 years.. That second, tongue-in-cheek opinion was meant to illustrate the disrespect that the 9th Circuit and other federal appeals courts have shown for the Second Amendment since 2008, when the Supreme Court explicitly recognized that the provision guarantees an individual right to armed self-defense.

." Whether it's the age or style of your mattress, once you've identified the issue, you can address it.S. God issues commands in Genesis , but it is “the face of the deep” and “the waters” from which the heavens and earth initially spring (Gen 1:1-2), the seas that “bring forth” many “swarms of living creatures,” and the earth that “puts forth vegetation” and “brings forth” the “living creatures of every kind” (Gen 1:11 and 1:20-24). Then God looked upon the creation and “saw that it was good” (Gen 1:25). In fact, this sleep study tracked individuals who slept on a varied selection of brand-new mattresses that ranged from low to high price points for a period of 28 days. When Eve bears her first child, she is clear about who does the work when she asserts, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord” (Gen 4:1). We are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to do the right thing: allow generic manufacturing of Xtandi, and stop Big Pharma from price gouging American prostate cancer patients. Thus, the story illustrates that multiple contributors, with various capacities, work together to create and procreate, and nothing comes to full existence without all of the contributions. The study suggested that quality of sleep can depend on replacing your mattress in a timely manner. The county did all that in the name of controlling COVID-19, although it simultaneously allowed many other activities that posed similar or greater risks of virus transmission.

The one time when God does do most of the work is in the creation of adam (Hebrew meaning the earth-creature), from the material provided by the adamah (Hebrew word meaning earth). But it is only after his bodily creation and once God breathes the “breath of life” into his nostrils that Adam comes into existence as a “living being. On the other hand, a mattress that's really soft can cause back discomfort, too, as your body can drop into the mattress like a bit of a sinkhole. Feel free to republish and share widely.” (Gen 2:7). The creation and procreation of living beings is a material process that occurs over significant time, according to this biblical view, which means that Genesis 1-3 actually flatly refutes the notion that “life begins at conception. Related:.”  It is only through the lens of a highly male-centric theology that the actions of “God the Father” in Genesis 1-3 can be construed as the only actions that matter.. But VanDyke predicted that most of his colleagues on the 9th Circuit would reach a different conclusion after agreeing to review the decision.

Similarly, those asserting that a life exists prior to the procreative process of gestation are grossly distorting the story and denying the autonomy, moral agency, and humanity of Eve and all women after her.   The personhood of pregnant women is absolute   The Christian Right invented the idea of fetal personhood to strengthen and consolidate political and social power. The construction of a perfect innocent in need of protection plays on our emotions. It seduces us into equating unwanted or problem pregnancies with wanted pregnancies. It invites us to judge and shame women and to pass laws that will result in forced pregnancies. His satire combines excessive deference to public health powers with blithe disregard for the right to arms — tendencies that the 9th Circuit has repeatedly displayed in previous cases.

Instead of merely accepting the theologically framed arguments presented by religious conservatives about abortion, it is important to recognize that factions of Christians have often weaponized theology to acquire and wield hierarchical social control in the course of human history. Such power plays, despite the theological framing, erase all regard for the quality of individuals’ lives.   Two of the worst examples are the European witch hunts targeting mostly women and the American institution of chattel slavery. In the latter, just as in the case of abortion bans, some Christian religious leaders used the Bible to support slavery as a moral good, claiming that slavery introduced Blacks to a higher morality than they were otherwise capable. This theology was devoid of any impulse to respect the actual personhood of enslaved peoples, nor did it hold any meaningful regard for the quality of their lives. After nearly a decade and a half of this subversion, the challenge to New York’s carry permit law gives the justices a chance to provide courts like the 9th Circuit with some much-needed guidance.

   It is recorded in Christian scripture that Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). And followers of Jesus are supposed to be known by their love for others (John 13:34-35). What kind of life are women with unwanted pregnancies in Texas living right now because too many Christians cannot, or will not, distinguish between a theology of male power and dominance that oppresses and exploits lives versus a theology of love that nourishes them? To ban access to legal, medically-safe, and financially-affordable abortions is to deny pregnant individuals the opportunity to make the best decisions for their own lives and the well-being of their families. These bans constitute robbery and can lead to death and destruction.

What kind of life are women with unwanted pregnancies in Texas living right now because too many Christians cannot, or will not, distinguish between a theology of male power and dominance that oppresses and exploits lives versus a theology of love that nourishes them?  When women are denied access to terminate a pregnancy, they and their children are: Four times more likely to live below the Federal Poverty Level More likely to remain living in domestic violence More likely to experience serious complications from the end of pregnancy including eclampsia and death More likely to suffer anxiety and loss of self-esteem Less likely to have or achieve aspirational life plans Social policies that impede wholeness, liberation, and equality and those that address the issues of life, but are designed to ignore what constitutes life, are inherently unjust and flawed. Policies and systems that disregard the factors impacting quality of life are irresponsible, senseless, and inhumane. When pregnant people are supported, or at least unimpeded, to make pro-creative decisions that impact the quality of their own lives, based on their own values, their lives and the lives of their children and families are made better, and this society as a whole is made better. When we recognize that fetal personhood is a fiction, we can see more clearly the pregnant women whose lives are on the line and to whom we owe as much freedom, justice, and abundance as are due to all persons. We must refute the power-motivated fiction of fetal personhood, even when it is theologized, because it matters in people’s lives for generations.

The authors of this piece, listed below, are all founding members of the steering committee of and curriculum contributors to the newly formed coalition project SACReD (Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity). Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely. .