“It’s a fraught subject”: Listening to Evangelical Doctors Talk about Abortion

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News coverage, social media and protests alike tend to polarise people’s stances on abortion. Moreover, these also often reveal category slippage between ‘pro-life’ and ‘Christian’ or ‘religious,’ perpetuating the impression that to be religious is to reject abortion. Contrary to both tendencies, this article engages with abortion from a lived religion perspective. It listens to evangelical healthcare practitioners as they talk about their attitudes towards abortion. This reveals a complex picture, their ethical engagement variously taking the form of resistance, neutrality, uncertainty, compartmentalisation, change and situational negotiation, while drawing upon multiple sources of ethical authority, including their own ‘experiential knowledge.’ Having presented these complexities, the article concludes by exploring their implications. First, it considers the value of foregrounding emotion when engaging in lived religion research around ethics and controversial topics. Secondly, it suggests that combining social bioethics with emotional narratives might represent a means of communicating this complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-108
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the British Association for the Study of Religions
Early online date15 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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