Shobe 2013 Lecture

“Religion and the Case for Women's Reproductive Freedom”

Seventh Annual Thelma Shobe Endowed Lectures on Ethics, Spirituality and Health
Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, PhD, Research Professor of Theology and Culture Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas

Many religious traditions support reproductive freedom for women. This lecture will discuss the religious basis for protecting women's access to this freedom,and the problems of religions that do not respect the full humanity of women as moral decision-makers. In addition, it will discuss the moral ambiguities and anguish for some women as they consider terminating a pregnancy and responsible spiritual care for women making decisions about reproduction.

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“Abortion, Conscience, and the Ethics of Provision”

Margaret Olivia Little, PhD, Director of the Kennedy Institute of EthicsAssociate Professor of PhilosophyGeorgetown University, Washington, DC

Access to abortion is a fundamental rig ht; its availability critical to women's well-being and ability to meaning fully author a life. Yet the morality of abortion is also something about which truly good and reasonable people disagree. Given thisfact, how are we to think about the role -- and limit -- of conscientious objection inthe provision of abortion? Some reject any role for conscientious objection; others defend its role as absolute; I argue that neither approach suffices. The social life of abortion needs to be acknowledged as a nuanced one, reflecting the fundamental complexity inherent to the issue.
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