NRL News

Feeling “God’s presence,” PCUSA pastor says she feels “no sin” after having two abortions

by | Aug 7, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

The last time we encountered progressive theologian The Rev. Rebecca Todd Peters she was offering a defense of why it was perfectly acceptable for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to veto a “dangerous” bill.” What bill was she [and he] bravely opposing?

HB453—Human Life Non-Discrimination Act/No Eugenics— which would prohibit an abortionist from performing abortions if he knows a woman is seeking the abortion because of race, sex or a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Oh, that dangerous bill!

The Rev. Peters is one of those all-too-familiar “progressive” ministers [in this case Presbyterian] who has persuaded herself that “justice” requires abortion, which requires overturning the patriarchy which includes recalibrating a religious “tradition that remains dominated by male god-language and imagery.”

A professor of religious studies at Elon University in North Carolina, she has even wrote a book (how about this for original) titled “Trust women: A Progressive Argument for Reproductive Justice” as well as another “Abortion and Religion Project.”

In other words the Rev, Peters is a cliché’s cliché.

And she shows no signs of slowing down, according to Ian M. Giatti, a reporter for The Christian Post

A female pastor who is also a Planned Parenthood advisor delivered a sermon in which she said she felt “God’s presence” when she aborted two pregnancies and blasted Evangelicals for their “toxic theology” on the subject.

In a sermon delivered July 9 at The Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Rev. Rebecca Todd Peters spoke candidly about her own experience with abortion and how she views Scripture through that lens.

Wearing a pink stole emblazoned with the Planned Parenthood logo, Peters opened her message bemoaning the state of pro-life Evangelicalism, with its “talking fetuses, aggressive bumper stickers and saccharine billboards quoting Scripture and invoking God’s wrath.”

Calling Psalm 139 a “liberating message of justice and light,” the Rev. Peters then read the familiar text: “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

So how does she square that with the assertion that “the Bible doesn’t say anything about abortion”?  Hmmm.

Peters, according to  Giatti, “shared her appreciation for both the psalmist and the Psalm itself and appeared to affirm, along with Jeremiah and Job, ‘their certain knowledge that God was with them in the womb.’” Now I’m really confused. And then…

She revealed that as a mother of two, she had previously aborted two other pregnancies.

“I, too, feel that I am known by God in these ways, as a woman who has borne two children. I can affirm that I felt something sacred happening in my gestating body during those pregnancies,” said Peters. “I can also attest that I felt God’s presence with me as I made the decision to end two pregnancies and I felt no guilt, no shame, no sin.”

Is that the same woman who said, “I’m outraged by the Religious Right’s co-optation of God”? Isn’t that exactly what the Rev. Peters does here? In her view, God not only gave Peters the thumbs up for her two abortions, she could feel “God’s presence” “and I felt no guilt, no shame, no sin.”

So why did she and her husband abort two of their children? Well, in her 2022 USA Today op-ed, Peters wander hither and yon until finally concluding

Recognizing and affirming that parenting is a sacred responsibility means that we need to recognize the moral wisdom my momma shared with me: “You shouldn’t have a baby just because you are pregnant – you should have a baby because you want to be a mother, you want to have a family.”

That is the message that people of faith need to shout from the rooftops. That because parenting is a sacred task, pregnant people must be supported in using their moral agency to know when and whether they are able to embrace that sacred trust of parenting.

Ending a pregnancy when one cannot afford to care for a child (or another child) can be a morally responsible decision.


And I can say, without a doubt, that the two decisions we made to have children were far more morally significant than the decisions to end two pregnancies.

Pardon? Aren’t the two children whose pregnancies they ended dead?

Categories: Abortion