Today, I received an email from a young woman just beginning to explore Witchcraft. She lives in a conservative area, surrounded by religious people who believe abortion is wrong. She herself has had an abortion. She asked me if Witchcraft would accept her for having made that decision.
I gasped when I read it. One, I recognized myself. I never had to have an abortion but there were many times in my life when, had I been faced with such a decision, I almost certainly would have chosen that route. But two, it saddened me to think that a young woman out there would even wonder if the Goddess and the world of Witchcraft would accept her. The question seemed tucked away in an old shoebox and forgotten, toppling off a dusty memory-shelf while I was looking for psychic batteries or spiritual nails: “What is THIS still doing in existence? Wasn’t this thrown away in a healing ritual ten years ago????”
But I also understood. I grew up Catholic with strong Baptist influences and attended Methodist Bible camp. I remember wondering if God would hate me if I were faced with such a decision. I remember being scared of sexual assault less for its own sake, and more for possibly having to endure an unwanted pregnancy rather than commit a “Mortal Sin.”
I wanted to reach through the computer screen and embrace this young woman. I wanted to squeeze her and tell her she’s loved–perfectly loved–by the Divine Mother for who she is. All I had was my keyboard. Here is what I said:
Witchcraft places no rules or judgement on someone who has had an abortion. Witchcraft honors the world of both Life and Death and acknowledges that the Goddess is both Life *and* Death-bringer in Her own right. This planet is overpopulated. We cannot bring life into this world if we do not have the proper amenities to tend to it. It is better to tend to life already in existence. I believe many Witches would agree that if you did not have the proper resources or ability to care for the child, it is better that you chose abortion.
Now, because there is no official “ruling” on abortion, individual Witches may feel differently than I do. Nearly all Witches I know are strongly pro-choice, as we call it here, but I also live in NYC which is very liberal and supportive of a woman’s right to choose an abortion if she wants one. As a Priestess, I absolutely see no conflict with a person having had an abortion and then practicing the Craft. In many ways, you’re probably better equipped as you know first-hand the realities of life and death. If you happen to find Witches who condemn you for your difficult choice, keep searching! There are so many out there who have shared your experience and would love you for it, never despite of it!
I’m not going to pretend I know what the Great Mother thinks. Like the rest of us, I’m going to do the best I can with what I’ve got. Maybe I’ll get to Summerland and I’ll get lopped upside my pro-choice head. Maybe not. I don’t know and neither do you!
But what do you think? Is the Goddess pro-choice?