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'I'm a Pro-Choice Pastor,' Raphael Warnock Says, Sparking Pro-Life Pushback

Michael Foust | Contributor | Thursday, November 19, 2020
'I'm a Pro-Choice Pastor,' Raphael Warnock Says, Sparking Pro-Life Pushback

'I'm a Pro-Choice Pastor,' Raphael Warnock Says, Sparking Pro-Life Pushback

Georgia minister and U.S. Senate candidate Raphael Warnock sparked a cultural and social media debate this week about Christianity and the unborn when he called himself a “pro-choice pastor” and said he will fight to keep abortion legal.

Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, is the Democratic candidate in the Jan. 5 runoff against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican.

“I’m a pro-choice pastor, and I believe that a hospital room is way too small for a woman, her doctor, and the United States government,” Warnock wrote in a social media post for Facebook and Twitter.

He also wrote on both platforms, “I will always fight for reproductive justice.”

The posts launched an impassioned debate on Facebook and Twitter about religion and abortion.

Lila Rose, president of the pro-life organization Live Action, quoted one of his posts and tweeted, “Murdering a child is the antithesis of justice. How dare you claim the name of Christ while you advocate for the ‘right’ to slaughter His children, made in His image. Your words are Satanic.”

Christian singer Danny Gokey tweeted in response to Warnock, “Killing boys & girls in the womb is not a brave or heroic act like the left loves to portray. Everyone of us needed someone to fend & fight for us when we couldn’t defend ourselves. Most confusingly – abortion has murdered millions of woman & blacks – The ones they say they fight for.”

Benjamin Watson, a pro-life advocate and a former NFL player, tweeted, “Pastor, Equal access to kill a son or daughter is NOT justice. JUSTICE is the equitable distribution of punishment AND protection. JUSTICE is rooted in the dignity of every human endowed by their Creator. One cannot truly fight for JUSTICE while simultaneously denying it.”

Loeffler, who is pro-life, retweeted Watson’s tweet. Loeffler wrote in her own tweet, “Your version of ‘justice’ is using the Bible to justify killing innocent babies. My version of justice is protecting innocent life and the most vulnerable among us.”

Some, though, supported Warnock’s comments.

“I am an Episcopalian and my spouse is an Episcopal priest,” one person tweeted. “We stand with you and are supporting your campaign with both prayer and funds. God bless you!”

It wasn’t the first time Warnock implied the Bible supports abortion. In August, he was asked by a radio host how the pro-choice views of the Democrat Party align with his faith.

“I believe unequivocally in a woman's right to choose, and that the decision is something that we don't want government engaged in – that's between her and her doctor and her minister,” Warnock answered. “... “I've been focused on women's health, women's choice, reproductive justice. That is consistent with my view as a Christian minister. And I will fight for it.”


Megachurch Pastor: Abortion ‘Is Consistent with’ Christianity and ‘I Will Fight’ to Keep it Legal 

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jessica McGowan/Stringer

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.