American Baptist Churches
The American Baptist Churches (ABC USA) is a pro-abortion Protestant denomination.
In a 1987 resolution concerning abortion, the General Board of the American Baptist Churches denomination stated that the issue of abortion is to be decided upon by each local member church:
- "The role of the General Board in this matter is not to direct churches, but to assist them in carrying out ministry and advocacy according to their convictions... Genuine diversity of opinion threatens the unity of our fellowship, but the nature of the covenant demands mutual love and respect."
The General Board stated that the denomination opposes abortion as a means of avoiding responsibility for conception, as a primary means of birth control, and without regard for the far-reaching consequences of the act.
However the resolution goes on to defend the right of the individual to choose abortion:
- "Recognizing that each person is ultimately responsible to God, we encourage men and women in these circumstances to seek spiritual counsel as they prayerfully and conscientiously consider their decision... We acknowledge the diversity of deeply held convictions within our fellowship even as we seek to interpret the Scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Many American Baptists believe that, biblically, human life begins at conception, that abortion is immoral and a destruction of a human being created in God's image... Many gradations of opinion between these basic positions have been expressed within our fellowship.
- We also recognize that we are divided as to the proper witness of the church to the state regarding abortion. Many of our membership seek legal safeguards to protect unborn life. Many others advocate for and support family planning legislation, including legalized abortion as in the best interest of women in particular and society in general. Again, we have many points of view between these two positions. Consequently, we acknowledge the freedom of each individual to advocate for a public policy on abortion that reflects his or her beliefs."
Declaration Supporting Legal Abortion
100 American Baptist Churches pastors and leaders have signed the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing which was coordinated by the Religious Institute and reads in part,
- "Faith communities must also advocate for sexual and spiritual wholeness in society. We call for... a faith-based commitment to sexual and reproductive rights, including access to voluntary contraception, abortion, and HIV/STI prevention and treatment."
- ABC USA: AMERICAN BAPTIST RESOLUTION CONCERNING ABORTION AND MINISTRY IN THE LOCAL CHURCH (accessed on Aug. 3, 2014)
- Religious Institute: Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing (accessed on Sep. 14, 2012)