Thursday, July 12, 2007

Common Ground on Abortion?

Two years ago, Governor Rick Perry of Texas signed an abortion bill into law in the gymnasium of the Calvary Christian Academy. This past week, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt signed a bill into law that bars Planned Parenthood from teaching sex education in schools. And now NARAL has discovered that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had revised a government website,, with biased and misleading ideological claims about abortion.

Next week thousands of Disciples of Christ will come to Ft. Worth, Texas, for our general assembly. One resolution we will be considering is entitled, "PROACTIVE PREVENTION: SEEKING COMMON GROUND ON THE ISSUE OF ABORTION." Now to be sure, we're only seeking common ground amongst ourselves. Being as we have no doctrine nor creeds, there's a lot of variety in what individual disciples believe. We don't even have to pay attention to resolutions - especially if we don't like 'em. So if we reach some consensus around this issue, it would be nothing short of a modern day miracle.

Aside from seeking common ground amongst ourselves, this resolution
Affirms the desire to reduce the number of abortions, while still affirming a woman's privilege to responsibly exercise her inherent freedom of conscience, through programs that provide better health care and community support for women during pregnancy.

Calls on churches to provide age appropriate health and sexuality education paired with Christian spirituality for adults and youth. They are recommending a curriculum written by the United Church of Christ. I've not seen it, but I'm confident that it is not subtitled "abstinence education."

Further, Disciples are to be advocates for pregnancy counseling and adequate healthcare for women and families, as well as advocating for and/or creating affordable daycare facilities in underserved neighborhoods, college campuses and other areas where children and families, have the greatest need.
Historically, Disciples have affirmed a woman's right to choose. In 1973 and 1975 we passed resolutions that,
Affirm the principle of individual liberty, freedom of individual conscience, and sacredness of life for all persons.

Respect differences in religious beliefs concerning abortion and oppose, in accord with the principle of religious liberty, any attempt to legislate a specific religious opinion or belief concerning abortion upon all Americans.
Ultimately, Disciples recognize that the women who must decide whether or not to undergo an abortion need to have the informed supportive resources of the Christian community to help them make responsible choices, and that congregations and individuals must give their continued full support to each person who must make such a decision, knowing that whether or not an abortion is decided the person will need the supportive assurance of God's grace and love.

I'll be voting "aye" on this one.

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