A Catholic organization that supports abortion rights ignited a theological debate Thursday when it argued Mary “had a choice” in giving birth to Jesus and thus, all women should have that same choice, too.
Catholics for Choice, a non-profit organization that supports legalized abortion, sparked the controversy with posts on its social media pages on the same day as the Feast of the Annunciation, in which Catholics celebrate the coming of the angel Gabriel to Mary.
“Mary mother of Christ had a choice in conceiving him (sic),” a tweet from the organization read. “If Mary had a choice, you should, too!”
Mary mother of Christ had a choice in conceiving him.— Catholics for Choice (@Catholic4Choice) March 25, 2021
If Mary had a choice, you should too!
“Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, where the angel visited Mary and she said ‘yes’ to being the mother of Jesus,” its Facebook post read. “Re-post if you think that, like Mary, *everyone* should have a choice about if, when, where, and how they conceive.”
The story of Gabriel and Mary is found in Luke 1. Gabriel tells Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. … He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Mary then says, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
The tweet sparked more than 2,000 comments.
“I can’t believe I have to say this, but no, Mary did not have the option of aborting baby Jesus,” wrote author Allie Beth Stuckey.
I can’t believe I have to say this, but no, Mary did not have the option of aborting baby Jesus. https://t.co/wkeoxFxiE0— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) March 25, 2021
Mary H. FioRito, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, tweeted, “Her decision was made BEFOREHAND – prior to the Word becoming flesh.”
Conceiving. NOT afterwards. Her decision was made BEFOREHAND -- prior to the Word becoming flesh. Thanks for confirming the Church's "unchanged and unchangeable" teaching.— Mary H. FioRito (@maryfiorito) March 25, 2021
Another person wrote, “This is a satire account. You cannot convince me otherwise.”
A Muslim commenter also criticized the Catholics for Choice logic by tweeting, “I know as Muslims we have only a tangential understanding of this story but I'm not sure this is how it went.”
On Facebook, the top comment read, “Prayers for your conversion to life and love and truth and goodness and God!”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Liliboas
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-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.