A Catholic organisation that supports abortion rights ignited a theological debate Thursday when it argued Mary “had a choice” in giving birth to Jesus and thus, all women should have that same choice, too.
Catholics for Choice, a non-profit organisation that supports legalised abortion, sparked the controversy with posts on its social media pages on the same day as the Feast of the Annunciation, in which Catholics celebrate the coming of the angel Gabriel to Mary.
“Mary mother of Christ had a choice in conceiving him,” a tweet from the organisation read. “If Mary had a choice, you should, too!”
“Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, where the angel visited Mary and she said ‘yes’ to being the mother of Jesus,” its Facebook post read. “Re-post if you think that, like Mary, *everyone* should have a choice about if, when, where, and how they conceive.”
The story of Gabriel and Mary is found in Luke 1. Gabriel tells Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. … He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Mary then says, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
The tweet sparked more than 2,000 comments.
“I can’t believe I have to say this, but no, Mary did not have the option of aborting baby Jesus,” wrote author Allie Beth Stuckey.
Mary H. FioRito, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, tweeted, “Her decision was made BEFOREHAND – prior to the Word becoming flesh.”
Another person wrote, “This is a satire account. You cannot convince me otherwise.”
A Muslim commenter also criticised the Catholics for Choice logic by tweeting, “I know as Muslims we have only a tangential understanding of this story but I’m not sure this is how it went.”
The Catholic organisation came under a lot of attack, with thousands condemning the very act of comparing the act of abortion choice to the predestined and symbolic birth of Jesus Christ. They termed it as sacrilege.