By Mark Tooley on 5.8.09 @ 6:07AM
The Rev. Katherine Ragsdale will soon become the first female president of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Openly lesbian, the outgoing chief of a liberal think tank that monitored the Religious Right, and best known for her abortion rights advocacy through the Washington-based Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), Ragsdale maybe the perfect icon for untrammeled liberal Episcopalianism.
But a rather vigorous two-year-old abortion sermon by Ragsdale, assertive even by her standards, has overshadowed her recent appointment. "Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done!" she repeatedly exclaimed at a rally in defense of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2007. Those "blessing" situations, according to Ragsdale, are when a woman is pregnant due to "violence," when the fetus has "anomalies," when the woman hasn't education or a "sustainable job," and even when a woman has a "loving, supportive, respectful relationship" with "every option open to her" but knows the child will compromise "one's education, life's work, or ability to put to use God's gifts." So basically, abortion, including even partial-birth abortion as Ragsdale admits, is a "blessing" just about any time it is desired.