Southern Christian Coalition calls for focus on empathy, safety in abortion debate
Following the leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling indicating the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's subsequent signing of legislation further restricting abortion access in the state, pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition expressed concern for the safety of women and called for empathy rather than punishment.
In a statement, the pastors noted the danger to women that would result if Roe v. Wade is ultimately overturned and said politicians should leave reproductive health decisions to women, their families, and their chosen spiritual advisors.
“Today I lament that Governor Lee signed into law a bill making mail order abortion pills illegal in Tennessee,” said Rev. Dr. Lillian Lammers, Associate Pastor of First Congregational Church in Memphis. “Every bill that Governor Lee signs into law restricting and banning abortion relies on the shared myth that all abortions are chosen by healthy women with healthy pregnancies, with quality health insurance coverage, who have employers who will make pregnancy and childbirth accommodations and who are in in healthy and safe relationships. However, in my counseling with women faced with this difficult and personal decision, this has never been the case. Every time a woman in crisis has come to me the situation has been complex and heartbreaking. To have politicians like Governor Lee believe he knows better than the woman does shows a complete lack of both empathy and understanding of the complexities associated with human reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth.”
Dr. Donna Whitney, Pastoral Assistant at Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, said, “As a pastor, a Christian, and a retired physician, I believe that everyone, wherever she lives, whatever her income, deserves privacy and respect to make important reproductive decisions with the doctors she chooses, with the spiritual advisors of her choice, and with her God. When politicians try to pass laws making abortion illegal and inaccessible, they do not make abortion disappear. They instead make it more dangerous, they make it secretive, and they knowingly put women’s lives at risk."