cover image Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice

Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice

Rebecca Todd Peters. Beacon, $27.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6998-1

In this courageous, personal book, Peters, a Presbyterian minister and religious studies professor at Elon University, argues that abortion is used to shame women, control their bodies, and manipulate their choices. “The starting point of our ethical conversation should be women’s lives,” writes Peters, yet “the problem that we face in this country is our failure to trust women to act as rational, capable, responsible moral agents.” For Peters, who is open about having had abortions, there are big problems with the way Christians and Catholics frame moral questions around abortion and women. She writes that they employ a “justification paradigm” in which the default expectation is for women to bear children if they get pregnant, and they must “justify their moral decision” to do otherwise. Peters’s book is dense with the history of women’s rights, as well as analysis of patriarchal oppression and the ways the church, legislators, and businesses have tried to control and govern women’s bodies. This theologically astute and social justice–minded book will appeal to progressive Christians who are interested in reclaim-ing abortion as an issue of women’s health and could easily become part of the required reading for an array of university courses. (Apr.)