January 2, 2013 by mattfradd
After an extensive search through reputable and authoritative documents and websites, I have not been able to find one main-line Protestant denomination (The Assemblies of God may be the exception) which explicitly condemns abortion under every circumstance. Rather, each denomination confessed that abortion was acceptable under certain circumstances.
Now, to be fair, most protestant Christians I know are against abortion. And, unfortunately, many Catholic Christians I know are for abortion. But when bad Catholics are bad Catholics we call them, “bad Catholics.” If, on the other hand, a member of the Prestbyterian Church (USA) rejects his church’s position that, “[abortion] can be a morally acceptable decision”11 should we consider him a “bad Presbyterian?”
In this blog I’ve compiled 11 official statements from Protestant Christian denominations and one official statement from the non-Christian church of the Latter Day Saints. You can check out my sources by clicking the respective Church at the end of each statement.
“This church recognizes that there can be sound reasons for ending a pregnancy through induced abortion.” – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
”…we call upon Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” – Southern Baptist Convention
“The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to, be a party to, or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or health of the woman is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by forcible rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the victim…” – The LDS Church (Mormon)
“We believe that abortion should be a personal matter between a woman and her doctor, who should earnestly consider their understanding of the particular situation permitting the woman to bring to bear her moral and religious insights into human life in reaching a decision through a free and responsive exercise of her conscience.” – United church of Canada
“While we acknowledge that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion, as Christians we believe strongly that if this right is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations.” – The Episcopal Church
”Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy.” – United Methodist church
“in some infrequent cases saving the life of the child or of the mother may mean the death of the other. If after prayer for God’s intervention, the problem is not resolved, consultation with attending pro-life physicians will be helpful in arriving at the proper conclusion.” – Assemblies of God
”The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation.” – Seventh Day Adventists
”The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Such decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration, with appropriate involvement of the woman’s family and pastoral, medical and other counsel. A woman in these circumstances needs acceptance, love and compassion.” – The Salvation Army
”The Church of England combines strong opposition to abortion with a recognition that there can be – strictly limited – conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative (General Synod) – Anglican Church (Church of England)
“The decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy can be a morally acceptable decision.” – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Please compare the above dribble with the authoritative words of Blessed John Paul II:
“[The Church’s teaching on abortion] is unchanged and unchangeable. Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors . . . I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed asan end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.
This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium.
No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church”
If there is a main-line Protestant denomination which I am unaware of that condemns abortion under every circumstance, please let me know.