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What Is Her.meneutics?

The Christianity Today women’s blog provides news and analysis from the perspective of evangelical women. We cover news stories and books related to international justice and evangelism, pregnancy and sexual ethics, marriage, parenting, and celibacy, pop culture, health and body image, raising girls, and women in the church and parachurch.

Her.meneutics was co-founded by Katelyn Beaty and Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

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All posts from “life ethics”

No Exceptions: The Case for a Consistent Pro-Life Ethic

September 12, 2012 8:56 AM

The trouble with “exceptions” on abortion—whether one is pro-life “with exceptions” or pro-choice “with exceptions”—is that exceptions make doling out abortions seem as capricious as Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi: “No abortion for you. Next!” With the recent blunder of a...

What You Need to Know About the Hidden Benefits (and Costs) of New Prenatal Tests

July 6, 2012 9:19 AM

At first blush, the news that scientists can diagnose thousands of genetic disorders in an unborn human baby looks incredible. Using a blood sample from the mother and saliva from the father, scientists at the University of Washington mapped...

Shouldn’t a Ban on Sex-Selective Abortions in America Be a No-Brainer?

June 8, 2012 8:30 AM

In Sacha Baron Cohen’s (Borat and Bruno) new movie The Dictator, his film-wife tells him she’s pregnant in one scene. His response: “Are you having a boy or an abortion?” This line is only funny if you like shock comedy. It...

When the State Took Away My Life: North Carolina Grapples with Sterilization Practice

January 18, 2012 11:10 AM

The small, rural Virginia county where I live is home to an infamous court case that resulted in “one of the most chilling statements” ever issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. That case, Buck vs. Bell, unleashed decades of forced...

How Much Do Our Stories Matter?

August 19, 2011 10:26 AM

In yesterday’s post, I told three stories about people who used reproductive technologies to have babies: A mother became pregnant via IVF after her first three children were tragically killed. A couple turned to an Indian surrogate to bear the...

Three Stories About Reproductive Technology

August 18, 2011 10:56 AM

What do the stories of a grieving mother, a couple traveling to India, and a fictional character have in common? All three stories involve people using reproductive technology to have a baby. In a Ladies Home Journal article, Jackie Hance...

Two Stories about Babies with Down Syndrome

July 28, 2011 10:15 AM

“It’s a girl!” I received these words with tears of joy when our third child, Marilee, was born. We could have known her sex months earlier, of course, but we decided to wait. And yet, as I wrote in a...

Rethinking the Death Penalty

April 12, 2011 12:04 PM

In March, the state of Illinois became the sixteenth state to abolish the death penalty. In his remarks after signing the bill, Governor Pat Quinn didn’t debate the morality of executing murderers. He didn’t discuss whether or not the death...

Assaulted Woman to Be Kept Alive, Rules India Court

March 14, 2011 11:34 AM

On March 7, India’s Supreme Court decided a landmark case that will allow life support to be legally removed from some terminally ill patients. The ruling involved the case of a woman who has been in a vegetative state since...

Live Action, Planned Parenthood, and a Year of Change

February 24, 2011 10:36 AM

It’s only February, and already I have whiplash from the news speeding past me from the U.S. abortion front. The frenzy began on January 17, when a Philadelphia abortion doctor was indicted for killing a patient. Next came the revelation...

The Untold Story of Donor-Conceived Children

January 28, 2011 11:05 AM

The featured article on the new website AnonymousUs.org is about a bad breakup. A middle-aged woman discovers that her boyfriend is accused of incest. What does she do? She has herself artificially inseminated by an anonymous sperm donor, but then...

Surprised by Beauty at the March for Life

January 27, 2011 9:31 AM

T. S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month,” alluding to the way life and death are inextricably connected, as when “lilacs” are bred “out of the dead land.” This is the way the March for Life — held...

A Woman, Not a 'Gestational Carrier'

January 18, 2011 10:03 AM

Editor's Note: This is the second Her.meneutics post responding to Melanie Thernstrom's New York Times Magazine article on twiblings. Ellen Painter Dollar covered it last week. As millions around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus, Elton John and his...

Troubled by the Twiblings?

January 13, 2011 9:00 AM

What do you call two siblings, with the same genetic parents, gestated by two different women, born five days apart, raised by a father with whom they share genes, and a mother with whom they do not? Twiblings, who were...

Mildred Jefferson: 'A Physician, a Citizen, and a Woman'

October 22, 2010 9:43 AM

There are few who can discuss abortion from as many perspectives as those held by Mildred Jefferson — the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and a lifelong pro-life activist, who passed away on October 15 at...

Outsourcing Baby-Making in India

October 21, 2010 8:00 AM

It’s a typical story in our global economy: Citizens of wealthy nations hire Indians to provide goods and services that cost less than the same goods or services domestically produced. But in the case of “reproductive tourism,” the Indian laborers...

Abortion Case: Womb vs. Egg

October 15, 2010 10:10 AM

A British Columbia couple creates an embryo using in vitro fertilization (IVF). They contractually hire a surrogate mother to carry the child. Then they discover, through prenatal screening, that the baby has Down syndrome. The couple asks the surrogate...

A Concerning Nobel Prize

October 8, 2010 9:29 AM

Earlier this week, British biologist Robert G. Edwards won the Nobel Prize in medicine for developing in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology. Edwards and his late research partner, Patrick Steptoe, pioneered the process by which the first so-called “test tube” baby...

How Many Kids Should We Have?

July 19, 2010 11:25 AM

"One and Done," Lauren Sandler's Time cover story this week, offers a series of reasons why many parents in the West are choosing to have only one child. First, the economic strain: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that...

Before the Next After-Sex Pill

June 24, 2010 9:55 AM

Medical experts, pro-life advocates, and women’s groups are once again debating the moral questions raised by so-called “morning-after” pills. On June 17, an advisory panel recommended that the FDA approve an emergency contraceptive known as “ella” for prescription use. Ella differs from Plan B,...

Offering Grace to Infertile Couples

June 8, 2010 10:57 AM

“You can always adopt.” “Are you sure you want kids? You can borrow mine this weekend.” “I know you’re going to have a child. I can just sense it from the Lord.” These are just a few of the comments...

Abortion Measures Move State-à-State

May 6, 2010 11:07 AM

In a changing political climate, Christians are finding their attention and energy divided among a number of issues. Recognizing these tensions, the Manhattan Declaration called for Christians to refocus on core issues, one of which was abortion. Simultaneously, Newsweek reported...

Get Your Free Human Eggs

March 24, 2010 8:40 AM

Imagine that you are a woman with an intractable medical problem. You awake each day desperate to find a way to live the life you have dreamed of. Your doctors have offered increasingly sophisticated, invasive, and expensive treatments, to no...

Joni Eareckson Tada: Health Care Bill Concerns

March 17, 2010 2:08 PM

A few years ago, I helped write a book, How to Be a Christian in a Brave New World, about the bioethical challenges in the 21st century. Today, one of our foremost ethical challenges is how to accomplish health care...

Should Pro-lifers Call Black Children an 'Endangered Species'?

March 11, 2010 3:04 PM

Perhaps you’ve heard about the controversial billboard campaign sponsored by Georgia Right to Life, that state’s largest pro-life organization, in partnership with a Christian group called the Radiance Foundation. In signs put up around Atlanta, as well as through a...

Eliminating Suffering or Eliminating People?

February 26, 2010 8:23 AM

Imagine sitting in a doctor's office and receiving this news: Good morning, Mrs. Santos. I have the results of the screening test you had last week, 12 weeks into your pregnancy. The test indicates a high likelihood that your baby...

A New Frontier in Pro-Life Stem-Cell Research

February 18, 2010 9:24 AM

A team of researchers at Georgia’s health science university, the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), announced last week that they are conducting a clinical trial using stem cells from umbilical-cord blood as a treatment for cerebral palsy. The trial will...

Did You Consider Having an Abortion?

February 11, 2010 8:48 AM

Everybody knows someone who considered having an abortion. It may be a friend, cousin, sister, aunt, or your own mother … and you may not even know about it. Even if you didn’t watch the Super Bowl last Sunday, you...

When Stem Cell Research Isn’t Embryonic

December 22, 2009 10:04 AM

At the conclusion of another year, perhaps we should take a moment to take note of progress in adult stem cell research. Two compelling stories that caught my eye in just the past month took most of 2009 to make...

Going Rogue: An American (Pro-)Life Woman

November 23, 2009 4:55 PM

Since entering the national scene last fall as John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin has attracted hefty media attention from friends and foes alike. Now her full-time job seems to be making media appearances promoting her newly released Going Rogue:...

Planned Parenthood Puts Restraining Order on Former Director

November 4, 2009 9:31 AM

Planned Parenthood has found itself in a legal battle with a former director who said she had a change of heart after watching an ultrasound for an abortion and quit the organization . KBTX of Bryan/College Station, Texas, reports that...

Where Does Francis Collins Stand on Stem-Cell Research?

July 13, 2009 11:10 AM

President Obama announced last Wednesday his pick of Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project and an evangelical Christian, to lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the government's biomedical research wing. While a couple news reports...

Am I My Sister's Keeper?

June 26, 2009 9:06 AM

My Sister's Keeper, director Nick Cassavetes' (The Notebook) new weeper film starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, releases today. Fans of the original 2004 Jodi Picoult novel may be expecting a cinematic exploration of the ethical ramifications of PIDG (pre-implantation...

Obama: A Friend to Pro-Lifers?

May 19, 2009 8:39 AM

In 1993, when Christine Todd Whitman was the Republican candidate for the governor of New Jersey, her views on abortion were muted at best. I recall being cautiously optimistic as I voted for my state's first and only female governor....

Glow-in-the-Dark Bark

May 5, 2009 8:41 AM

My two-year-old has a pair of pajamas that glow in the dark. He loves them, and asks to wear them almost every night. And I say yes - as long as they're clean. But what do I say when he...

Going Undercover to Expose Planned Parenthood

April 28, 2009 10:41 AM

The Los Angeles Times recently profiled a college student who videotapes counseling sessions at Planned Parenthood clinics to expose potential wrongdoings. Lila Rose, a 20-year-old UCLA history major, has led her group Live Action to videotape clinics in Los Angeles,...

Test Tube Ethics

April 16, 2009 9:28 AM

"Do not murder" seems to set forth a pretty clear ethical boundary. But what happens when science, ethics, and theology meet in one of the ever-expanding gray areas of modern medicine? President Obama's March 9 decision to open up...

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