Title

Unwanted Pregnancy, Abortion, and Maternal Authority: A Prochoice Theological Argument

Abstract

This essay offers a theological answer to the question: How should we speak of a pregnant woman's identity such that she is recognizable as uniquely entitled to make the gestational choice to end fetal life? Some prochoice thinkers carve out ethical space for a pregnant woman to reject a fetus with which she has not yet self-consciously entered into a mothering relationship. In contrast, the author argues that pregnancy automatically places serious mothering responsibilities on a woman and that ending a life in utero is a unique decision that a gestating mother should have the primary moral authority to make. Since discourses of mothering in Christianized cultures are arguably influenced by the Virgin Mary, this essay offers a reading of the Annunciation in Luke's gospel and discusses one medieval mystic's transgressive practices of imitatio Mariae as resources for Christian women's reproductive choice about unwanted pregnancy today.

Publisher

Indiana University Press

Publication Date

Fall 10-1-2018

Publication Title

Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

Department

Religion

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.2979/jfemistudreli.34.2.05

Keywords

Abortion, Maternal authority, Theology

Language

English

Format

text

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