association with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Update (May 21): In one of the last actions of its 10-day General Conference, United Methodist delegates voted 445 to 310 to repeal the denomination’s 40-year-old official resolution supporting Roe v. Wade.
Paired with the earlier vote to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), the church took “two MAJOR steps in the right direction,” tweetedJohn Lomperis, the United Methodist director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
The Book of Resolutions statement in support of legal abortion was adopted in 1976. It reads, in part:
We believe that continuance of a pregnancy that endangers the life or health of the mother, or poses other serious problems concerning the life, health, or mental capability of the child to be, is not a moral necessity. In such cases, we believe the path of mature Christian judgment may indicate the advisability of abortion. We support the legal right to abortion as established by the 1973 Supreme Court decision.
“In our system, resolutions automatically expire after eight years unless a General Conference re-adopts them,” Lomperis told CT. “The New York national headquarters of United Methodist Women submitted a petition to this General Conference to not only re-adopt this resolution, but also to amend it to make it even more strongly supportive of abortion.”
The resolution was defeated 59 percent to 41 percent.
The quadrennial conference also saw some smaller pro-life victories. Lomperis blogged:
On pro-life issues, we … adopted a resolution decrying sex-selective abortion while describing abortion as “violent” and criticizing those done for “trivial reasons,” and allowed the expiration of a 16-year-old official UMC resolution bewailing an alleged “crisis” of some hospitals not offering abortions. While much work remains in more firmly establishing a clear pro-life commitment in our denomination, these were HUGE steps in the right direction.
Evangelicals celebrated the United Methodist Church’s decision yesterday to leave a pro-choice advocacy group it co-founded 43 years before.
Voices for the Unborn is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. To read our Mission Statement, use this link. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google, and Pinterest. Help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favorite social networks.