Opinion – A Question of Faith: Addressing reproductive freedom as a Christian legislator

Photo of Representative LaKeshia Myers, Christian Legislator for reproductive freedom

By Rep. LaKeshia N. Myers

June 10, 2024

In this op-ed, state Assembly Rep. LaKeshia N. Myers (D-Milwaukee) discusses her support for women’s reproductive freedom as a Christian legislator.

I am many things—a legislator, a woman, Black, and Christian. As a believer, I am often asked how my faith impacts my work in the Capitol. My faith centers me, and acts as a guidepost for the work I do in the Legislature. I understand that my role as a legislator is to create laws that work for the greater good of society. It is for this primary reason that I am emphatically pro-choice with regard to women’s reproductive freedom.

The ability to choose for oneself is one of the bedrocks of a democratic society. Ironically enough, it is also a tenet of the Christian faith. My faith tradition teaches that Christ gave all of humankind the ability to choose. Joshua 24:15 says, “choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” As Christians, we make a conscious choice to accept and follow the teachings of Jesus.

As such, we must also realize that our beliefs should not be forced upon others through policy or persuasion. It is also important for Christians to understand that the outward expressions of one’s Christian walk may differ from person to person. This is why there are hundreds of Christian denominations; each with varying viewpoints on many social issues. Some Christian sects don’t allow women to preach the gospel, others don’t embrace glossolalia (commonly known as “speaking in tongues”), some believe in baptism by sprinkling, others in full submersion, etc.

What is constant are the two commandments Christ left behind, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39). With respect to governance, loving your neighbor means looking out for their needs. It is disturbing to me that many who tout the “pro-life” mantra do little to advocate for indigent children and families after birth. Instead of expanding social services, those are often the first programs to be cut and the very people who need them are often vilified for the circumstance of being poor.

Access to reproductive healthcare is a form of loving our neighbors. Ensuring that children who have been victims of sexual assault have adequate options to decide their own fates is showing love. So is being compassionate to families who have to make extremely difficult decisions about the viability of a pregnancy or the health of an expectant mother. 2 Corinthians 12:19 reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

This upcoming election, many Christians will go to the polls and be faced with a choice. Will we choose to be guided by cultural dogma or will we choose to follow Christ’s example of loving all mankind? Will we choose to err on the side of politicized religiosity or cast a vote for grace? I have decided to follow Jesus; he gave me the opportunity to have a choice and I will vote for others to have one as well.

Related: Trump says he would allow red states to track pregnancies, prosecute abortion ban violators

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