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Elon University professor-minister ‘on a mission’ to preach that abortion is not a sin

‘I felt God’s presence with me as I made the decision to end two pregnancies’

A professor of religious studies at Elon University who’s also an ordained Presbyterian minister is, according to the Religion News Service, “on a mission […] to shift the cultural paradigm that abortion is sin.”

Rebecca Todd Peters, garbed in a pink Planned Parenthood sash (pictured), recently told a crowd at a North Carolina Unitarian-Universalist church “I felt God’s presence with me as I made the decision to end two pregnancies and I felt no guilt, no shame, no sin.”

She added: “A forced pregnancy or birth is not holy.”

Peters says that while liberal Protestant denominations are largely in favor of “reproductive rights,” they avoid conversations about it. This leaves Catholics and evangelical Christians in control of the narrative.

She also believes the “underlying assumption” about abortion being a sin comes from Christianity’s “patriarchal vision of womanhood.” For her, any justification for the procedure — not just cases of rape, incest or the mother’s life — is legitimate.

“Abortion is a moral good,” Peters said in the recent sermon. “Abortion is an act of love. Abortion is an act of grace. Abortion is a blessing.”

At Elon, Peters founded the Poverty and Social Justice Program and leads the Abortion & Religion project. The latter states on its website that there’s “a dominant cultural narrative that religion is opposed to abortion [but] vocal and vicious anti-choice Christian voices/activists contribute significantly to the abortion stigma that all women who end pregnancies experience.”

MORE: A professor embodies the toxic politics of pro-choice

The project features researchers specializing in areas such as Muslim feminist thought, gender and sexuality studies and ethics associated with Catholic decolonial feminism.

Five years ago, Peters refused to say whether unborn babies are human, telling The College Fix “The questions that you ask … are very serious moral questions that require far more substantive reflection and discussion than I could possibly offer.”

She said her book “Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice” would offer “a far more detailed and nuanced discussion” on the question.

Diane Irving, a professor, biochemist and bioethicist told The Fix in response that “of course [Peters] did not want to answer this question as she already knew that it would debunk her pro-abortion argument.”

Peters’ Twitter page essentially is all about abortion, including a tweet where she says she was honored to be part of Vice President “Kamela” Harris’ event marking the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision.

MORE: Duke law student denounces university’s pro-abortion message

IMAGE: Rebecca Todd Peters/Twitter

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.