Abortion as a Political, Philosophical, and Theological Issue: Connecting a New Society at an Orthodox Seminary with Orthodox Christians in North Dakota

North Dakota has recently passed legislation restricting abortion.  Although, in part, it draws a line at a “heartbeat,” which does not define when conception occurs and allows for “the morning after pill,” and certainly does not eliminate any and all(early) abortions, quite a few have reacted against it.  Likewise, there have been objections to the bill requiring an abortion doctor to have admission privileges at a local hospital.  Finally, there has been outrage even over the bill prohibiting genetic selection as a reason for abortion.  Such bills are at least consistent with Orthodox Christianity (though Orthodox do debate how and when to legislate on moral issues, including abortion).  Certainly, Orthodoxy’s canon law prohibits abortion or even causing abortion.

Interestingly, it is not just here in North Dakota where abortion has risen as a hot issue.  I have recently learned that at one of our Orthodox seminaries, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, a pro-life society has begun.  I provide a link to their blog here, which I’ll likewise include in the “Related Orthodox Sites” widget:

http://www.stambrosesociety.com/blog/

The work of Dr. Jeff Bishop (at SLU, from which I earned my Ph.D.) is very fascinating in this regard.  This society did not exist while I was a student at SVS, but it has encouraged and enabled some thoughtful discussions concerning this issue.  One talk may be found here:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/svsvoices

Scroll down for the podcast entitled “St. Ambrose Society” for a talk given by Ian Jones, also an SVS alum, who is a doctoral candidate at Fordham.  It is a talk worth listening to and may be worth remembering as this issue continues to be debated and discussed in North Dakota, which will almost certainly happen in full force next year when voters decide on a “right to life” amendment.

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