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.

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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:

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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.”

Further reading:

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Find out more about the hosts of With All Due Respect:

Rev Dr Michael Jensen, rector at St Mark’s Anglican Darling Point, author, public commentator.

Rev Megan Powell du Toit, ordained Baptist minister, Publishing Manager of the Australian College of Theology, editor of the journal Colloquium.

We got the idea of our two-header theology and culture podcast from this show: The Movie Show/At the Movies.