February/March 2023: Editor’s Introduction Il/legal Abortion: Lutheran Ethical Responses Post-Dobbs

[1] The essays in this issue are offerings concerning faithful ethical responses after the Dobbs ruling by the Supreme Court this summer. As such, they are different in tone and intention than the kinds of discussions that were on-going while Roe still held, such as those in The Journal of Lutheran Ethics published in November […]

February/March 2023: For Congregational Discussion

[1] Celcy Powers King essay ends with the following call to action: “If the focus of any church is compassion for those in need, then I believe its members can implement practices that help them grow and connect to their local communities. One way to achieve this is to open up dialogue to those outside […]

Can We Really Be So Sure When Human Life Begins? What Recent Neurobiological Data Might Entail for the Abortion Debate

[1] Since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, the abortion debate has entered a new phase.  And yet in another sense, nothing is new.  The same old arguments get made on both sides with neither side really engaging the other.  On one hand, there are those of the Pro-Choice movement, in accord with […]

 A Complex Position on Abortion: Access, Decision-making, and Legality

[1] Have you ever been unexpectedly pregnant?  I have. [2] When I realized I was pregnant, the visceral alarm I felt brought the words, “How can this be?” to my lips.  I did not intend to speak Mary’s words when the angel spoke to her (Luke 1:34a).  But there they were, signaling disbelief, alarm, disruption.  […]

First Thoughts on the End of Roe v. Wade: State Rules, Gender Norms, and the Fragile (or Conditional) Personhood of Women

[1] This is a period piece, a snapshot of one Gen X theologian’s first reactions, landing on some observations and questions to hold open in the life of faith. [2] At some point on June 24, 2022, I realized I had entered the same kind of space I found myself in on September 11, 2001 […]

Reflections on Abortion and Ethical Discernment in the Church

[1] June 24th 2022: The United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization; this ended the guarantee of abortion as a protected right. The weight of the issue of abortion does not solely rest on the shoulders of cisgender women. This also impacts MaGes (marginalized genders), men, and […]

Creating a Culture of Life

[1] Working with the authors who contributed to this issue of JLE, has been an exercise that has renewed my spirit.  I admit my spirit needed renewing. The news of the Dobbs decision and the immediate consequences has felt like a forceful slap against women as persons deserving of the rights to moral autonomy and […]

A Love for Life: An Introduction to Three Reviews

[1] Often, the Church of Jesus Christ — and especially its individual members scattered across the world, including its apostolic leadership — think and act as though we are absolutely adrift upon the high seas of cultural dislocation and unrest. In our ethical deliberations and in our pastoral reflection and practice, it sometimes appears as […]

Review of: A Love for Life: Christianity’s Consistent Protection of the Unborn by Dennis R. Di Mauro

[1] The debate about the ethics of abortion is at once political, emotional, judicial and religious. Arguments in favor of one position or another often focus on the humanity or personhood (or lack thereof) of the fetus, the rights of both the pregnant woman and the unborn child, the constitutionality of various modes of abortion […]

Review of: A Love for Life: Christianity’s Consistent Protection of the Unborn by Dennis R. Di Mauro

[1] This book is not for the reader already convinced of a woman’s “pro-choice” in terminating a pregnancy. Nor is it necessarily for those who are strongly pro-life. Rather it is most helpful for those who do not quite see clearly where the Christian church has stood vis-a-vis abortion until the twentieth century. [2] First […]