A prominent pro-life activist and former NFL player is chiding Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for a new ad that ties abortion to her faith and implies that God supports abortion.
Benjamin Watson, a Super Bowl-winning player and former tight end for the New England Patriots, posted comments on social media this week criticizing the ad from Abrams, who has become more outspoken in recent days in discussing her faith in relation to abortion.
Abrams is the Democratic nominee in Georgia for governor.
The 60-second ad shows CNN’s Dana Bash asking Abrams, “You are a Christian. You are the daughter of two retired United Methodist pastors. I’m just wondering how you think about your faith with regard to this policy?”
Abrams, in the ad, explains how her faith led her to change her beliefs on abortion.
“I’ve thought about my faith a great deal. In fact, I was anti-abortion until I went to college. And there I met a friend who had my shared faith values,” she says in the ad. “But we started having conversations about what reproductive care and abortion care really is. And when I talked about that it was an experience that I had because she was able to give me a different perspective.
“And over the course of the next few years, I really started thinking about what role should the legislature play – what role should government play? This is health care. This is about a woman’s right to control her body. This is about a woman’s right to experience and determine her future. And that, for me, as a matter of faith, is I don’t impose those value systems on others. More importantly, I protect her rights. I protect her humanity, and that should be my responsibility.”
Watson, the host and executive producer of the 2020 film Divided Hearts of America, said Abrams was misrepresenting Christianity.
“Respectfully if you identify as a Christian your authority is the Word of God not the opinion of a friend who shares your faith,” he wrote.
The ad, he said, “conveys empathy but it also conveys baseless compromise.”
“If your holy scripture sanctions abortion as it does love/justice/charity explain how,” he wrote.
Watson played college football at the University of Georgia.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Robin Marchant/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.