In Kansas, where Dr. George Tiller was assassinated at his church by a "pro-life" advocate, a former colleague of his is trying to re-open his clinic. People of faith should pray that Julie Burkhart is successful. Women should have the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions. Domestic terrorists should not have the final world.
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ has long maintained that:
Whereas, women and men must make decisions about unplanned or unwanted pregnancies that involve their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being; and …Whereas, abortion is a social justice issue, both for parents dealing with pregnancy and parenting under highly stressed circumstances, as well as for our society as a whole; …
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Sixteenth General Synod:
- affirms the sacredness of all life, and the need to protect and defend human life in particular;
- encourages persons facing unplanned pregnancies to consider giving birth and parenting the child, or releasing the child for adoption, before abortion;
- upholds the right of men and women to have access to adequately funded family planning services, and to safe, legal abortions as one option among others;
- urges the United Church of Christ, at all levels, to provide educational resources and programs to persons, especially young persons, to help reduce the incidence of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, and to encourage responsible approaches to sexual behavior.
There are those that would like the public to believe that opposition to abortion is the only Christian position but the United Church of Christ is joined by the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church USA, Presbyterian USA and other faithful Christian denominations in supporting choice. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is an interfaith organization many of our churches belong to.
In the end, we should all work toward to goal of reducing the number of abortions. We need comprehensive sex education in our schools - and our churches - and for contraception to be universally available. For low income mothers and families we need to make every resource available to make sure that children are healthy and well taken care of. There's an irony that so many hard core "pro-life" activists oppose aid for children living in poverty. On this, Christians ought to find common ground.