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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #1
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An open letter....

http://www.religiousinstitute.org/le...OpenLetter.pdf

An Open Letter to Religious Leaders

on Abortion as a Moral Decision



As religious leaders, we are committed to supporting people’s efforts to achieve spiritual,emotional, and physical well-being, including their reproductive and sexual health. We assist women and families confronted with unintended pregnancies or pregnancies that can no longer be carried to term. We are committed to social justice, mindful of the 46 million

women worldwide who have an abortion each year, almost half in dangerous and illegal situations. We seek to create a world where abortion is safe, legal, accessible, and rare. Millions of people ground their moral commitment to the right to choose in their religious beliefs. While there are strong public health and human rights arguments for supporting the

right of women to safe and legal abortion, here we invite you to consider the religious foundations for affirming abortion as a morally justifiable decision.



AFFIRMING WOMEN’S MORAL AGENCY

Abortion is always a serious moral decision. It can uphold and protect the life, health, and future of the woman, her partner, and the family.




We affirm women as moral agents who have the capacity, right and responsibility to make the decision as to whether or not abortion is justified in their specific circumstances. That decision is best made when it includes a well- informed conscience, serious reflection, insights

from her faith and values, and consultation with a caring partner, family members, and spiritual counselor. Men have a moral obligation to acknowledge and support women’s decision-making.



RESPECT FOR LIFE

Our religious traditions affirm that life is sacred. Our faiths celebrate the divinely bestowed blessings of generating life and assuring that life can be sustained and nurtured. Religious traditions have different beliefs on the value of fetal life, often according greater value as fetal development progresses. Science, medicine, law, and philosophy contribute to




this understanding. However, we uphold the teaching of many religious traditions: the health and life of the woman must take precedence over the life of the fetus. The sanctity of human life is best upheld when we assure that it is not created carelessly. It is precisely because life and parenthood are so precious that no woman should be coerced to carry a pregnancy to term. We support responsible procreation, the widespread availability of contraception, prenatal care and intentional parenting.

Scripture neither condemns nor prohibits abortion. It does, however, call us to act compassionately and justly when facing difficult moral decisions. Scriptural commitment to the most marginalized means that pregnancy, childbearing, and abortion should be safe for all women. Scriptural commitment to truth-telling means women must have accurate information as they make their decisions.



MORAL IMPERATIVE FOR ACCESS



The ability to choose an abortion should not be compromised by economic, educational, class or marital status, age, race, geographic location or inadequate information. Current measures that limit women’s access to abortion services—by denying public funds for low-income women; coercing parental consent and notification as contrasted with providing resources for parental and adolescent counseling; denying international family planning assistance to agencies in developing countries that offer women information about pregnancy options; and banning medical procedures—are punitive and do nothing to promote moral decision-making. When there is a conflict between the conscience of the provider and the woman, the institution delivering the services has an obligation to assure that the woman’s conscience and decision will be respected and that she has access to reproductive health care, either directly or



through referral. We condemn physical and verbal violence and harassment directed against abortion clinics, their staffs, and their clients.

We must work together to reduce unintended and unwanted pregnancies and address the circumstances that result in the decision to have an abortion. Poverty, social inequities, ignorance, sexism, racism, and unsupportive relationships may render a woman virtually powerless to choose freely. We call for a religious and moral commitment to reproductive health and rights; there must be access to comprehensive sexuality education and contraception, including emergency contraception.



RELIGIOUS PLURALISM

No government committed to human rights and democracy can privilege the teachings of one religion over another. No single religious voice can speak for all faith traditions on abortion, nor should government take sides on religious differences. Women must have the right to apply or reject the principles of their own faith without legal restrictions. We oppose any attempt to make specific religious doctrine concerning abortion the law for all Americans or for the women of the world.




A CALL TO RELIGIOUS LEADERS

Religious leaders have been in the forefront of the movement for abortion rights for more than fifty years. We call on leaders of all faiths to prepare themselves to offer counsel compassionately, competently, and justly to individuals and families faced with pregnancy decisions. We urge them to:



• Advise and assist adolescent women in involving parents and family members in their decisions, while acknowledging that not every family can offer this support

• Provide age-appropriate faith-based sexuality education that underscores the importance of planned childbearing and responsible sexual decision-making, including abstinence



• Encourage parents to talk openly and honestly about sexuality with their own children

• Counsel women facing pregnancy decisions to reflect, pray, examine their own conscience and faith, and talk with partners and family members

• Support with love to those who choose adoption or termination of their pregnancies, including providing worship opportunities for those who seek them to mourn losses from miscarriages, stillbirths, and abortions

• Provide financial and emotional support for those women who carry their pregnancies to term and provide loving community for them after birth

• Publicly advocate for reproductive rights—including sexuality education, contraception, prenatal care, adoption, and abortion—through sermons, public witness, and involvement in the political process.

IN CLOSING

More than thirty years ago, many religious denominations passed courageous resolutions in support of women’s moral agency and their right to a safe and legal abortion. Despite numerous legal challenges and social, scientific and medical advances, we reaffirm this theological commitment: women must be able to make their own moral decisions based on conscience and faith. We call for increased dialog and respectful listening with those who disagree with us. With them, we share the vision of a world where all children are loved and wanted. We renew our own call for relational and reproductive justice for all.

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Old July 16th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #2
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Wow, the prophets spoke truthfully of the churches of these times. God have mercy.
 
Old July 16th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #3
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I agree. Denying qualified gay people from adopting children who need a loving home is just not right.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 05:34 AM   #4
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Abortion as contraception is still frowned upon though by most churches. Even those listed by this BS.



The Church and Abortion: Signs of Consensus
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Old July 18th, 2008, 05:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxashun
Abortion as contraception is still frowned upon though by most churches. Even those listed by this BS.



The Church and Abortion: Signs of Consensus


It's a woman's decision for whatever reason she chooses.



"We affirm women as moral agents who have the capacity, right and responsibility to make the decision as to whether or not abortion is justified in their specific circumstances. ......

Despite numerous legal challenges and social, scientific and medical advances, we reaffirm this theological commitment: women must be able to make their own moral decisions based on conscience and faith"
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Old July 18th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKgrannie
It's a woman's decision for whatever reason she chooses.



"We affirm women as moral agents who have the capacity, right and responsibility to make the decision as to whether or not abortion is justified in their specific circumstances. ......

Despite numerous legal challenges and social, scientific and medical advances, we reaffirm this theological commitment: women must be able to make their own moral decisions based on conscience and faith"
That's not what most of those churches approve of though. I wonder if the members of those churches would agree with that statement? I doubt it.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fxashun
That's not what most of those churches approve of though. I wonder if the members of those churches would agree with that statement? I doubt it.


The following is from the letter endorsed by those churches. The following statement says WOMEN DECIDE!! Individual members may disagree with their church's position on the issue, that applies to members of churches supporting and opposing abortion.



"We affirm women as moral agents who have the capacity, right and responsibility to make the decision as to whether or not abortion is justified in their specific circumstances. ......

Despite numerous legal challenges and social, scientific and medical advances, we reaffirm this theological commitment: women must be able to make their own moral decisions based on conscience and faith"
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Old July 19th, 2008, 06:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKgrannie
The following is from the letter endorsed by those churches. The following statement says WOMEN DECIDE!! Individual members may disagree with their church's position on the issue, that applies to members of churches supporting and opposing abortion.



"We affirm women as moral agents who have the capacity, right and responsibility to make the decision as to whether or not abortion is justified in their specific circumstances. ......

Despite numerous legal challenges and social, scientific and medical advances, we reaffirm this theological commitment: women must be able to make their own moral decisions based on conscience and faith"
"The Churches" didn't affirm the letter. What the letter said was..

Many religious denominations have passed policies

in support of legalized abortion. They include:

American Baptist Church • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Episcopal Church • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation • Presbyterian Church (USA)

Union for Reform Judaism • Unitarian Universalist Association

United Church of Christ • The United Methodist Church

United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism




For example, the Episcopal Church....

Episcopal News Service Archives

In 1994, the 71st General Convention of the Episcopal Church reaffirmed that all human life is sacred from its inception until death and that all abortion is regarded as having a tragic dimension. "While we acknowledge that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion," the resolution stated, "as Christians we believe strongly that if this right is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations. We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience."



It's that kind of disingenuous bullshit that pisses me off.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxashun
"The Churches" didn't affirm the letter. What the letter said was..

Many religious denominations have passed policies

in support of legalized abortion. They include:

American Baptist Church • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Episcopal Church • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation • Presbyterian Church (USA)

Union for Reform Judaism • Unitarian Universalist Association

United Church of Christ • The United Methodist Church

United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism



For example, the Episcopal Church....

Episcopal News Service Archives

In 1994, the 71st General Convention of the Episcopal Church reaffirmed that all human life is sacred from its inception until death and that all abortion is regarded as having a tragic dimension. "While we acknowledge that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion," the resolution stated, "as Christians we believe strongly that if this right is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations. We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience."



It's that kind of disingenuous bullshit that pisses me off.


From your link:

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians joined more than one million people, representing 100 religious and religiously-affiliated organizations and congregations, to march on Washington, D.C., April 25 in support of women’s reproductive rights at home and abroad. The march recorded the largest ever crowd count for women's rights in the nation's capital.



So it seems the Episcopal Church is fairly supportive of abortion rights. Regardless of opposition of the Episcopal church to some reasons for abortion, they emphatically endorse NO legislation on abortion.



"We believe that legislation concerning abortions will not address the root of the problem. We therefore express our deep conviction that any proposed legislation on the part of national or state governments regarding abortions must take special care to see that the individual conscience is respected, and that the responsibility of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter is acknowledged and honored as the position of this Church; and be it further



Resolved, That this 71st General Convention of the Episcopal Church express its unequivocal opposition to any legislative, executive or judicial action on the part of local, state or national governments that abridges the right of a woman to reach an informed decision about the termination of pregnancy or that would limit the access of a woman to safe means of acting on her decision."
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Old July 19th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #10
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But they still abhor abortion as contraception. Which is what you guys are advocating. If abortion was only being performed as a life saving tactic, this would hardly even be an issue. A vast majority of abortions are performed because some chick carelessly just used her vagina as a happy hole and ended up swelling.
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