Former Super Bowl champion and pro-life activist Benjamin Watson called out Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for compromising her Christian values by saying that as a woman of faith, she must support abortion.
Watson, vice president of strategic relationships with Human Coalition, explained on social media that Abrams misrepresented Christianity during an interview on CNN that was later cut and turned into a campaign ad in which she told political opinion host Dana Bash that her Christian faith led her to change her beliefs on abortion.
In the ad, Bash asks Abrams how, as a Christian, she came to be pro-choice and sought her views on Georgia's law regulating abortion: “You are a Christian. You are the daughter of two retired United Methodist pastors. I'm just wondering how you think about your faith with regard to this policy?”
Abrams, in the ad, explains how her faith led her to change her beliefs on abortion.
“I’ve thought about my faith a great deal,” Abrams says in the ad. “In fact, I was anti-abortion until I went to college. And there, I met a friend who had my shared faith values. But we started having conversations about what reproductive care and abortion care really is. And when I talked about that, it was an experience that I had because she was able to give me a different perspective.”
Abrams adds: “And over the course of the next few years, I really started thinking about what role should the legislature play? What role should government play? This is health care. This is about a woman’s right to control her body. This is about a woman’s right to experience and determine her future. And that, for me, as a matter of faith, is I don’t impose those value systems on others. More importantly, I protect her rights. I protect her humanity, and that should be my responsibility.”
In a response on Twitter, Watson wrote, “Respectfully if you identify as a Christian your authority is the Word of God not the opinion of a friend who shares your faith.”
Abrams’ statement, he added, “conveys empathy but it also conveys baseless compromise. If your holy scripture sanctions abortion as it does love/justice/charity explain how.”
In a separate interview with Yahoo News earlier this month, Abrams said God gave people the free will to choose whether to have an abortion or not: “While your faith tradition may tell you that you personally do not want to make that choice, it is not my right as a Christian to impose that value system on someone else. Because the value that should overhang everything is the right to make our own decisions, the free will that the God I believe in gave us.”
Last week, the Rev. Al Sharpton also raised some theological eyebrows after he claimed that “the Bible is about choice” when it comes to the killing of preborn babies.
“The Bible, if you’re using this as a religious argument, the Bible is about choice,” he said on MSNBC’s “Chris Jansing Reports.”
“You can go to Heaven or Hell. There’s nowhere in the Bible that says you had to go to Heaven,” he continued. “So where do we get this theology of forcing something when the reality is you can’t even biblically base that? It’s a question of choice. If you are a minister, as I am, you can preach to people to convert them; you do not make laws to compel them.”
“That is 62 million future voters, future leaders, future workers, future mothers, future fathers,” he wrote.
He added: “The actual harm at hand is the systematic, widespread, socially-condoned killing of our unborn. This demographic has been thoroughly deprived of legal and cultural personhood — so much so that pregnancy is considered without shame by many to be a kind of diseased state, and children to be parasites. It will take dramatic, ongoing, coordinated effort to restore children to their rightful state.”