Ep 24: Abortion law, Christians and The Handmaid's Tale
What is a Christian response to the abortion law debate?
For argument’s sake: where we take a debate, cut out the party politics and try to talk it out
As the NSW Parliament considers whether or not abortion should be legalised, Megan and Michael discuss the broader issues raised by the abortion debate:
- What does it mean to be pro-life or pro-choice? Can you be both at the same time?
- How do you balance the rights of the unborn child with women’s agency over their own bodies?
- When does human life start anyway?
- Does legalising abortion automatically equate to an increase in the number of abortions?
- How should Christians respond to this increasingly politicised issue?
And what about the hot-button topics of gender selection and disability. Who determines whether or not a life is valuable?
Megan and Michael draw on the wisdom of a parent of a child with a disability, With All Due Respect listener Alison Preston, in debating this life-and-death issue.
One thing is clear: the law alone is inadequate in addressing a topic that requires a whole community response.
Mentioned in this segment:
- The NSW Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill
- Alison Preston writes for Eternity about her decision to go through with her pregnancy and the joy her child has brought – The joy of having a baby with Down syndrome
- Eternity article on the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 – Christians suggest changes to abortion bill
- Eternity opinion article by Paul O’Rourke, CEO of pro-life media and advocacy organisation, Emily’s Voice – What the Bible says about abortion
You did WHAT now? Looking at what the other M has been up to
Michael, always prepared to put himself on the line, has been stepping into the charged abortion debate on social media and in the press in an attempt to change the tone of the conversation.
A descendant of “backyard abortionists”, Michael is aware of the “real human cost of an unregulated abortion industry”, as well as the moral complexity of the abortion issue.
He makes this vital point for everyone in the church: In a society where one-quarter of women will experience an abortion, “If you don’t think you have women in your congregation who have had an abortion, think again.”
So how can Christians respond graciously instead of aggressively to this polarising issue? Listen up to how Michael and Megan are doing it.
Mentioned in this segment:
- Michael’s Facebook post and subsequent article in The Daily Telegraph – Pro-life or choice, abortion nothing to celebrate
- Michael’s appearance on the ABC’s The Drum program – Episode 154, September 5, 2019
- Eternity article on the first ‘Stand for Life’ protest – Thousands gather in Sydney in last ditch effort to stop abortion bill
- Eternity article on the second ‘Stand for Life’ protest – Abortion rally told ‘Choose Life!’
- Eternity opinion article by church minister Mike Paget – Yes, there’s abortion in your church
Marg and Dave: reviews from two people obsessed by stories, but not always the same ones
Now we’re squarely in Megan’s domain: discussing Season 3 of the dystopian TV series The Handmaid’s Tale – in particular episodes 8, 9 and 13 (the final).
Why has this show become so connected to the abortion debate (so that just wearing a red cloak signals a pro-choice stance)?
Megan guides Michael, and listeners, through the undercurrents of death-happy Gilead, exploring the nuances of values, conflict, faith and society.
Here’s a taste of just one of the profound revelations Megan uncovers: “Looking after children is more than just getting them born; it is about giving them good lives.”
- Independent article on the show’s connection to real life – The Handmaid’s Tale compared to Alabama abortion law vote: ‘This is happening in our country in 2019’
- Margaret Atwood speaks to Her about her book that sparked the TV series – The author of The Handmaid’s Tale has plenty to say about anti-abortion laws
- Eternity articles on The Handmaid’s Tale – Has The Handmaid’s Tale become ho-hum and The Handmaid’s Tale: religion gone wrong
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We got the idea of our two-header theology and culture podcast from this show: The Movie Show/At the Movies.