By Maria Cory
Lee Anne Washington has been an attorney, author, and educator for more than 25 years. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia and the University of Virginia Law School. In June 2017, she received her Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA, and is presently interning at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond. In her book, "The Human Life Equation," Lee Anne has combined her legal research skills and her love of the Bible.
When White Stone, Virginia, attorney and Town Council member Lee Anne Washington served as a candidate in a 2008 Virginia special election, the recurring issue of abortion propelled her into in-depth research. Being questioned about her position on abortion and hearing constituents assert their biblical pro-life rationale, Lee Anne decided to examine more closely what that sacred text reveals on this controversial topic.
Sunday Morning Forum welcomed this Unitarian Universalist ministerial intern and longtime legal counselor as she capsulized her conclusions defined in her book, “The Human Life Equation: A Biblical Case for Choice." Describing herself as "pro-family," Lee Anne elucidates the Hebrew translations and how these accounts of antiquity do not preclude present day women from making responsible reproductive choices.
With Christianity and Judaism being significant parts of her spiritual journey, Lee Ann's biblical studies open doors to pivotal questions, such as: "When does human life begin?"; "Is abortion murder?"; “Are there any instances of abortion recorded in the Bible?”; and "Is abortion prohibited anywhere in the Bible?”
For Christians, the Bible describes God’s extraordinary creation of humans. “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7, New International Version). This and other scriptures give witness to God's "Ruach"--the breath and source of life that is infused in the body at birth, thereby creating first life when the two are joined. Lee Anne finds that this theology is not necessarily incompatible with modern medicine.
It is fortunate to have the Adult Sunday Morning Forum as an educational and spiritual platform to share diverse perspectives on a broad range of topics. We appreciate learning about this social justice activist’s: “passion to lighten the burden of guilt and confusion felt by women about abortion.”* We look forward to welcoming Lee Ann back to our pulpit for worship services on September 10!
*Excerpted from book cover