Katey Zeh

Progressive Baptist Minister Looks to Women of Scripture to Promote Abortion

on August 29, 2019

Baptist. Clergy. Abortion advocate. Katey Zeh‘s ministry calling is, uh, unique. For several years Zeh has promoted abortions while working in various roles for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). Now an ordained minister, she is harnessing women of the Bible in an effort to revision abortion as holy.

During an intriguing interview with Baptist News Global, Zeh said the Biblical texts “are set in a very patriarchal context” but that “there is still a narrative of very strong biblical women who found ways to beat the odds and survive and beat oppression.” That supposed narrative is the foundation for her new book Women Rise Up: Sacred Stories of Resistance for Today’s Revolution. 

Here’s some of what Zeh had to say about her view of Scripture during the interview:

I became very suspicious of the messaging I was getting as an adolescent, as a Christian and as a girl. I started questioning some of those evangelical messages and that led me to a more academic study of the Bible and the history of Christianity. It opened me up to the realization that Christianity had taken on many forms (beyond) what I had been taught. I hope my book is an invitation to ask some of those questions.

And when asked about her calling and career at RCRC, Zeh explained:

I really felt my call to ministry while volunteering at a reproductive health clinic that performed abortion services. It came from walking through a line of protesters, who assumed I was a patient, and experiencing the violence of people of faith. I thought, can I be someone who looks different from people of faith who were being violent, and be an advocate for reproductive rights? That was the moment I felt called to that work.

Zeh is a former member of the United Methodist Church (UMC) and spends a good chunk of the interview explaining her decision to leave Methodism. In the interview, Zeh explains that she departed the UMC in 2016 after she grew “increasingly concerned about its lack of recognition of women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights.” Readers of this blog will recall that the 2016 UMC General Conference severed formal denominational agency ties between United Methodist Women and the General Board on Church and Society with RCRC (for which Zeh works) after a 35-year affiliation.

Katey Zeh, Interim Executive Director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC)

Today Zeh is an ordained Baptist minister who attends Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Pullen is a predominately white, progressive congregation affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists, a fellowship of progressive Baptist Churches. I’m not surprised this is the Baptist church where a professional abortion activist landed. When browsing Pullen Memorial’s website, one gets a strong whiff of universalism, among other things.

For example, at the bottom of Pullen Memorial’s homepage is an invitation reading:

Our community welcomes all: The Certain and the Doubtful; The Excluded and the Included; Rich, Poor and In Between; Divorced, Partnered, Single and Widowed; Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish or Nothing; Heterosexual, Homosexual and Transgender; Black, White, Asian, Latino; Citizens and Guests. We celebrate unique gifts and embrace our challenges.

Pullen also “accepts the traditions and rituals of other faiths and does not require a person coming from another faith tradition to be re-baptized.” Quite conveniently, the church leaves membership expectations up to “each individual’s conscience.”

During her interview, Zeh nods towards Pullen Memorial’s seemingly universalist flare. She shares the story of visiting Pullen for the first time and feeling uncomfortable as a Methodist. The woman seated next to her said, “Well, honey, I’m Jewish.” Zhe recalled, “I said OK, if there are folks here from other faith traditions, this is for me.”

Zeh’s interview with Baptist News Global is titled “Inspired by the Women of Scripture, Baptist Minister Champions Reproductive Rights.” But the interview doesn’t actually tell readers how exactly the women of the Bible influence her abortion activism. You have to buy her book to find out, I guess. Curiosity will likely win out, and I will order a copy of Zeh’s book. Because I can’t for the life of me imagine how she will twist Scripture in such a way that her conclusion’s advance her pro-abortion activism.

When I look to stories of women throughout the pages of Scripture, I see only life.

Precious unborn life.

Transformed life.

And restored life through—and only through—Jesus Christ.

Just need only look to Mary, the mother of Jesus, for pro-life inspiration in the Bible. An unmarried pregnant teenager who carried her son to term suffered through the pain of labor and delivery, and gave birth to Jesus, our Savior. Where are the “reproductive rights” and will to “beat oppression” lessons in Mary’s story?

It is not my intention to vilify Zeh with this blog post. Only to remind the Church that individuals are working in the name of Jesus to advance the unholiest of practices—murder. And to hopefully warn any naive twenty-something young woman, like I once was, who are unknowingly buying into unorthodox misleadings simply because they are offered by a professing Christian leader.

It is also my prayer for Zeh that her work as an ordained clergy abortion activist will one day soon be a part of her testimony of a former life restored through Christ.

  1. Comment by Eternity Matters on August 29, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Just another Molech-worshiping ghoul, pretending that the existence of *allegedly* “violent” protesters of child-killing justifies the child-killing. Typical Leftist logic.

    Yeah, they welcome everyone except the unborn.

  2. Comment by Roger on August 29, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    True baptism is by the Holy Spirit baptizing you into the Body of Christ upon believing 1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 4. Paul’s Gospel does not call for water baptism but explains Holy Spirit Baptism in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. Either you are a believer or an unbeliever in the Gospel of Grace. The preaching of any other Gospel according to Galatians 1: 8, will make one accursed. In the Bible, God saw many in the womb, Ishmael, Jacob & Esau, and Jeremiah. God promised a blessing to Ishmael even though he was not the promised child to Abraham.

  3. Comment by William on August 29, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    These liberal looneys scream and hollow about the treatment of children at the border while radically supporting the murder of over 320,000 unborn children annually by Planned Parenthood, for example. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of their overall hypocrisy.

  4. Comment by Palamas on August 29, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    I’m familiar with Pullen Memorial. The only reason they continue to call themselves Baptists is because that’s a draw in North Carolina. If the church and its membership were suddenly transported to Massachusetts, they’d be Unitarians in a heartbeat.

  5. Comment by Geary on August 30, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I was wondering what in their beliefs made them “Baptist”. They must be a real embarrassment to Biblically faithful Baptists in the area.

  6. Comment by David on August 29, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    As I have said previously, if God was so concerned about human conceptions, why do nearly 75% fail to reach term naturally? As mentioned in this article, many of these have genetic abnormalities. Those aborted by human action are comparatively small in number. By the fruit or lack thereof, you will know the tree.


  7. Comment by Mike on August 29, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    “Those aborted by human action are comparatively small in number.” Maybe so, but in God’s sight every abortion is murder. The fact that many “human conceptions” fail of their own accord does not justify even one abortion. Your reasoning is certainly full of holes theologically.

  8. Comment by David on August 30, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Fetuses, if I dare use the term, are obviously not of great moral worth as they are treated as largely disposable items. Those that like to imagine that each human conception is a special “creation” will have problems with the statistics. Of course, with 99.9% of species having gone extinct, not to mention one third of the angels and the serpent in the garden having gone bad, the concept of creation needs reexamining. ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service”

  9. Comment by Mike on August 30, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    “Fetus” is just a name for the developmental stage of a human being…Fetus, Infant, Toddler, Adolescent,…etc. You may use that word freely, as long as you understand what it means.

    And since when has the current culture dictated what is “moral” or not? God’s word has not changed; neither has He changed. Right and Wrong are not dependent upon current social whims. Certainly you must understand this to be true, right?

  10. Comment by Patrick98 on August 30, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Hi David,
    For some reason you do not seem to understand a difference between natural processes such as miscarriage, and human activities. By your logic, because all of us are going to die anyway by heart failure, pneumonia, cancer, etc., then it should be okay for one person to take another person’s life with a gun, knife, club, etc. Dead is dead, right? But we do make distinctions in this life, and we do have a justice system. We try to apprehend murderers (do you even believe there is such a thing as murder?) and remove them from society for the protection and safety of others.

    We aren’t judgmental, David, just distinctional. 🙂

  11. Comment by Steven Joseph Soller on August 30, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Murders only comprise a small number of deaths…and yet they are the volitional taking of life, as opposed to natural death and therefore are treated differently. Each of us has a life and a death, but woe to the person who takes the life of another.

  12. Comment by TexasBill on August 29, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    There are three or four notoriously progressive Baptist Churches in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. As far back as the 80s, Pullen Memorial was at the forefront of the gay liberation movement, as was Binkley Memorial in Chapel Hill. I believe Binkley ordained the first openly gay man in the SBC in the early 90s. When that happened the State Convention promptly withdrew fellowship from the congregation. At the time, I believe they also had a female Senior Pastor (which was unheard in those days). University Baptist in Chapel Hill had one foot in the SBC and one foot in the Progressive side of things back then. I used to attend there and even taught youth Sunday School. I finally left because the congregation was spiritually vacant. The services usually lasted 45 minutes, the sermons were brief, and it felt more like a “high church” United Methodist congregation than a traditional Baptist Church. I don’t know why I ever went there, except that it was close to UNC. The congregation was very sparse too, so I’m curious to know what their attendance is today. I even tried out Watts Street Baptist in Durham back then. It was worse than UBC in Chapel Hill. I think they were American Baptist, Southern Baptist and may have even had an affiliation with the UCC! I do remember they used the UCC hymnal in the late 80s. Someone told me it was because the UCC hymnal was all about inclusive language and justice issues. The common thread that brought these four congregations together is that they were places where mostly white, older, intellectual elites could be “spiritual” while living out their Progressive ideologies. This article is not surprising given my past history with these congregations.

  13. Comment by God-Talk.com - Doug & Dr. Andy. M.D. on September 2, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    86% of women having abortion are not married.

    The Bible uses the word “fornication” for some forms of sexual activity outside marriage. God expects his worshippers to “abstain from fornication.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) Fornication is listed as a serious sin, as are adultery, spiritism, drunkenness, idolatry, murder, and thievery.—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Revelation 21:8.
    How can someone be a minister and support abortions when 86% of the women are not married?

    BTW: Of the 56 million abortions per year; 34.5 million occur in China vs 0.6 million in the USA.

  14. Comment by Bret on September 4, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Is your source the WHO study? I looked at Abortion Worldwide Report by Family Research Council January 2017. They claim their data is known abortions. China – 7.4 million in 2015, US 0.94 million in 2015. Total worldwide 12.5 million. The GI/WHO study claims 56.4 million per year.

  15. Comment by Eric Meadley on September 7, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    enjoyed your article Ms Vicari. i assume most on both sides now agree that abortion is the killing of a baby in the womb.

    the left tries to justify this killing. a baby’s death for it’s mothers gratification. that is as unholy as it gets

  16. Comment by Rev. Charles Booker on January 28, 2022 at 9:48 am

    There is a huge difference between promoting reproductive rights and doing gender advocacy and, as you title it, “promoting abortion”. Rev. Katey Zeh clearly does not promote the latter. You have taken a Baptist News (baptistnews.com) article that headlines reproductive rights – and almost word-by-word repeated the title with your substitution of promoting abortion, without citing source. How plagiaristic. How deceptive. And how cruel.

  17. Comment by Jeffrey Walton on January 28, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Vicari links to the original source and cites it: “interview with Baptist News Global”.

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