Book Review: Sacred Choices: The Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religions by Daniel C. Maguire

I discovered this gem in the library I work at. I was thrilled that specific passages had been highlighted by a previous reader–someone agreed with me.

For all you VHEMTers and Anti-natalists that continually have to deal with friends and relatives throwing religious reasons at you for their breeding…throw this book back at them.

Or, if violence isn’t your thing, here’s some important quotes from the book you can copy and paste to passive aggressively cyber-protest:

“The two sides in the abortion debate need not be so bitterly divided. There are things we could all agree on. We could all agree that there are too many abortions! We could also all agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, since that is the key problem.”

“The major religions were spawned in a world where our species lived on the scary brink of depopulation. It is not surprising that these religions would be part of the chorus pushing for fertility…As Univeristy of Pennsylvania professor William LaFleur says, the ancient religions ‘turned reproductivity into a mode of being godly. The multiplication of one’s kind became both an index of divine favor and a way of receiving such favor.’ However, we will see that these same religions developed teaching that would permit, even require, a limit to births.”

“Let me use Roman Catholicism as one example of ongoing change. In the past, it taught that contraceptive sex could never be justified. We see this changing in many Catholic theologians like Christine Gudorf, whom we will be meeting in this book. Gudorf says that not only is contraception not wrong, but that sex should normally be contraceptive and the decision to use sex to have a baby is one that has to be justified. It can be justified if you can give that baby all that it deserves and if you are bringing the child into an environment that is not already overburdened.”

“We are not bunny rabbits or bacteria. We are people, the animal rationale, the reasoning animal, and we have to reproduce in a reasonable ways so that life on this uniquely privileged planet can survive and thrive.”

‘The bible does not condemn abortion. The closest it gets is in Exodus 21:22, which speaks of accidental abortion. This imposes a financial penalty on a man who caused a woman to miscarry “in the course of a brawl” (NEB). The issue here is the father’s right to progeny; he could fine you for the misdeed, but he could not claim “an eye for an eye” as if a person had been killed. Thus, a conservative theologian John Connery S.J., said, “the fetus did not have the same status as the mother in Hebrew Law.”’

By it in paperback or Kindle.

Read my review policy here.


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