Saturday, September 19, 2020

Abortion doc. from Antiochian Missions & Evangelism

Series available here.

(Antiochian) - The Department of Missions and Evangelism recently released a documentary about abortion. The nine-part docuseries, "In The Name of Choice," directed by Dn. Adam Lowell Roberts and featuring Frederica Mathewes-Green, has but one message – that about 80% of young women who have gotten abortions report that they felt like they had no choice but to abort their unborn child. They express that they felt they were either being forced by someone else to go through with the abortion (boyfriend, husband, father, mother,) or they did so to satisfy another person. In other words, the decision to have an abortion was not really THEIR choice.

In the docuseries, a number of agencies (many are Orthodox) and Christian ministries are featured. These are groups that have devoted themselves to taking a compassionate approach by presenting alternatives to young pregnant women who feel trapped and would otherwise have no support should they desire to keep the child.

The Treehouse, founded by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Wichita, KS, is featured in the second episode along with Fr. Paul O'Callaghan and Joan Farha. Many people are also familiar with Zoe for Life in the Cleveland area, featured in Episode Eight. 

A study guide for parishes will be forthcoming.


  1. It has never really been about choice... especially when so many women feel that the violent death of their child is their only choice.

  2. I love The Treehouse's motto: Saving the world one diaper at a time.

  3. This is a much better focus, support of women in need, rather than on merely focusing on criminalizing abortion. The inordinate focus on criminalizing abortion has become something of idol worship among many American Christians, with an ends justifies the means approach. Here's an excellent editorial about just that:

  4. "Ever since abortion became politicized, it has stood as an ideological issue upon which entire campaigns hang. It is idolatrous to argue that the overall integrity of a political candidate, the ability of that candidate to lead or the moral character of a candidate are all factors which should be seen as insignificant provided that candidate has promised to pack the court with like-minded people who will rule on the criminalization of abortion.

    "Part of the problem is the distortion that has been created by highly deceptive labels such as 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice.' Such language does not speak truth but serves only to guilt and shame Christians into accepting idolatrous ideological camps of distorted thinking. Add to the distortion and divisive politics that such labels create, it idolatrously defines faithfulness to God in terms of distorted issue politics rather than a quality relationship with God and faithful engagement for God in a morally broken world.

    "Abortion is the result of an immoral world and legislative power will not change morality. Only faith in our loving, forgiving and redeeming God can. It is immoral that economic factors, inadequate health care and social realities motivate people to choose abortion. It is immoral that Christians would call for the outright criminalization of abortion, but do little to address the many factors that would prevent the unwanted pregnancy in the first place. It is immoral that women faced with the reality of pregnancy are turned into political footballs through fierce campaigns that call for Christians to either fight to protect the opportunity for an abortion or fight to criminalize and punish the choice to obtain an abortion. Both idolatrous responses distort the reality of her humanity and the perilous choices she is faced with making.

    "The best hope for ending abortion is not through the courts. We must focus our faithful efforts by denouncing the lie that the Church can accomplish God’s will by controlling the government, imposing punitive measures and providing heavy-handed dominion over those who the Church determines are outside of God’s will. This divides Christians into the false divisions of 'life' versus 'choice' and ignores the moral failure driving abortion.

    "We can, and should, end abortion. This can be done through prayer and faithfully working to transform our culture of death, war, punishment and domination into a culture grounded in God’s love and mercy. We must faithfully live for equality, justice and righteousness; especially in areas of economics, poverty and responsible sexuality. We must also end the culture of shame, hate and scorn. Christianity is about loving God and neighbor, caring for the poor, the vulnerable, and the outcast, and leading others into the life-giving, grace-filled and love-based relationship we know through Jesus Christ. It is time we got serious about ending abortion instead of merely playing politics and destroying lives in the process."