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Articles on Christianity

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The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed Texas’ abortion restrictions to take effect. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Texas ban on abortion goes into effect, a religion scholar explains that pre-modern Christian attitudes on marriage and reproductive rights were quite different

The Supreme Court declined to rule on a Texas law that bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. However, abortion and contraception were quite common among pre-modern Christians.
The story of Walatta Petros, a 17th-century Ethiopian noblewoman who was later made a saint, shows that Christianity has a complex history with abortion and contraception. A 1721 manuscript/Wikimedia Commons

Christian attitudes surrounding abortion have a more nuanced history than current events suggest

Abortion and contraception were quite common among premodern Christians, who also celebrated women’s celibacy as superior to marriage and childbearing.

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