Religion’s Influence on Modern Abortion Access: A Systematic Review Open Access

Garcia, Lauren (Spring 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/t722hb07c?locale=en
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Abstract

In the United States, we are taught or told early on that there is a separation between church and state; it’s a founding principle. But what happens when we look a little deeper and see that not only here, but all across the globe religion seeps into our daily lives in thousands of ways whether we’re religious or not? Whether it’s small examples of ethics and morality in everyday decisions such as, “Should I do to someone, something I wouldn’t want them to do to me?” as in eat someone’s yogurt out of the breakroom fridge or cut someone off last minute on my drive to the gym, or big, significant decisions like, not being given options for an abortion, because your only hospital in town is a Jesuit institution, or not taking a job that you’ve worked really hard for, because your health insurance won’t cover any type of birth control option, what have we allowed the religious community to dictate when it comes to the health of the entire community and why? 

In this paper, I looked at the five major religions represented at Emory University (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism) and defined their stances on abortion through population, religious text, clergy opinion, roles of women, and birth rituals, and how those stances have influenced policy and our healthcare access surrounding abortion, both for the better and for the worse. In this structured systematic review, I found that every religion and sub-denomination have a lot of nuance, and have done a tremendous amount of work to both move forward and hold back abortion access.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents 

Introductory Pages 

Distribution Agreement..................................................................................................................1 Thesis Committee Approval Form.................................................................................................2 

Abstract Title Page........................................................................................................................3 Abstract.........................................................................................................................................4 Thesis Title Page...........................................................................................................................5 Acknowledgements.......................................................................................................................6 

Introduction...................................................................................................................................8 Methods.......................................................................................................................................10 Results.........................................................................................................................................11 

Christianity……………………………………………………………………………………....11 Judaism………………………………………………………………………………………….19 Islam………………………………………………………….………………………………….23 Buddhism………………….……………………………………….…………………………...27 Hinduism…………………………….……………………………………………….………….30

Discussion...................................................................................................................................34 

Limitations...................................................................................................................................39 Conclusions.................................................................................................................................40 References..................................................................................................................................41

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