Pro-choice Reverend says baby “has a right not to be born,” pregnancies ought to be licensed

By Sarah Terzo

Rev. Owens, who is pro-choice, gives his views about abortion:

“There is a spiritual force within a woman when she’s pregnant and people of great spiritual sensitivity have to deal with the reality of that potential life, and a lot of people don’t think there is this kind of subtlety, and when they do, I’m very supportive of them. Yes, there’s a spiritual issue involved. I take the idea of ending the life of the fetus very, very gravely. I’m troubled by that, but this doesn’t in any way diminish my conviction that a woman has the right to do that, but I become distressed when people regard pregnancy lightly and ignore the spiritual significance of a pregnancy…

I remember giving a talk that I thought that one of my roles was to be an advocate for the fetus, and for the fetus’s right not to be born… In this sense, that I think if I had my druthers I would probably pursue a course which would, as I do advocate verbally, the need for licensing pregnancies, which seems to contradict what I’ve just said, but I don’t think it really does.”

Kristin Luker, “Abortion and the Meaning of Life,” in Abortion: Understanding Differences (London: Plenum Press, 1984)edited by Sidney Callahan and Daniel Callahan, p. 41 and p. 43