The American church’s complicity with legalized abortion

After reading the Roe v. Wade Opinion it occurred to me that Blackmun recognized that the majority of churches, medical and legal communities had already accepted the basic Roe language that abortion could be legalized for rape, incest, health of the baby baby, and life of the mother.

SUMMARY:

1973- Justice Blackmun wrote this into the Roe V Wade decision: So this proves that the church swayed the decision of the court – Also make a note that Blackmun sought desperately information on the Hippocratic Oath and concluded that it was created by a few people and did not represent the entire medical community:

“It may be taken to represent also the position of a large segment of the Protestant community, insofar as that can be ascertained; organized groups that have taken a formal position on the abortion issue have generally regarded abortion as a matter for the conscience of the individual and her family. [n58] “

The foot note leads to 58. Amicus Brief for the American Ethical Union et al. For the position of the National Council of Churches and of other denominations, see Lader 99-101.

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I have put together a Timeline to show how many churches came on board abortion and why churches MUST repent for their role in the legalization of the nation;s largest holocaust ever: abortion.

1902– In 1902, the Carnegie Institution, dedicated to scientific research, was opened in Washington, D. C. and donated nearly 8000 pipe organs to church.

The Eugenics movement paid churches and pastors to preach eugenic sermons. IN fact, much of the church has been influenced by outside forces when it comes to the evil of the age.

According to author George Grant, most churches of the time didn’t know what to do with abortion. Some were bold in their testimony, as evidenced by an 1868 Congregational church conference declaration on abortion: Full one third of the natural population of our land, falls by the hand of violence; that in no one year of the late war have so many lost life in camp or battle, as have failed of life by reason of this horrid home crime. We shudder to view the horrors of intemperance, of slavery, and of war; but those who best know the facts and bearing of this crime, declare it to be a greater evil, more demoralizing and destructive, than either intemperance, slavery or war itself. ( SOURCE: http://www.abort73.com/HTML/I-I-3-history.html, Christian Mirror, August 4, 1868. Cited in George Grant, Third Time Around (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), p. 99. )
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The 1869, General Assembly of the “Old School”: Presbyterian Church adopted the following resolution as its official denominational statement: This assembly regards the destruction by parents of their own offspring, before birth, with abhorrence, as a crime against God and nature…..We also exhort those who have been called to preach the gospel, and all who love purity and the truth, and who would avert the just judgments of Almighty God from the nation, that they be no longer silent, or tolerant of these things, but that they endeavour by all proper means to stay the floods of impurity and cruelty.

The congregationalist churches in New England and the Great Lakes region also engaged in anti-abortion activities. Arthur Cleveland Coxe, episcopal bishop of the diocese of western New York, publicly supported efforts by American physicians to tighten up the abortion laws. “As to those crimes which I have likened to the sacrifices of Moloch,” wrote the bishop, “I am glad that our physicians are beginning to be preachers.” ( Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA (Northern), Vol. 18 (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Publications Committee, 1869), p. 937.)

Abortion and the Christian: What Every Believer Should Know ©1984 ~ John Jefferson Davis, Ph.D
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
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1920– Russia was the first country in the world to legalize abortion, in 1920. The procedure was briefly driven underground, when Soviet leader Josef Stalin banned abortion in an attempt to encourage women to have larger families.

But after Stalin’s death in 1953, the ban was lifted. A decade later, the practice had become so common that the USSR officially registered 5.5 million abortions, compared to just 2 million live births.

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1921– Margaret Sanger, “The one issue upon which there seems to be most uncertainty and disagreement exists in the moral side of the subject of Birth Control … Our first step is to have the backing of the medical profession so that our laws may be changed, so that motherhood may be the function of dignity and choice, rather than one of ignorance and chance. ( SOURCE: Margaret Sanger, “The Morality of Birth Control”
delivered 18 November 1921, Park Theatre, NY, Speech can be read at the website of the Iowa State University)
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1933– German Penal Code
“A doctor may interrupt a pregnancy when it ‘threatens the life or health of the mother [and] an unborn child that is likely to present hereditary and transmissible defects may be destroyed.’” (German Penal Code and Hamburg Eugenics Court, 1933)
(SOURCE: WHY CAN’T WE LOVE THEM BOTH by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke
CHAPTER 37 DOCTORS & NURSES)
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1958 – American Ethical Union – Brooklyn, 1958 : STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Brooklyn,

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD
“The American Ethical Union joins the Board of Directors of the IHEU in ‘recognizing that population pressures in many parts of the world constitute an increasing threat to human dignity and welfare’. To diminish that threat The American Ethical Union considers it the obligation of its members to help in all ways they can to spread everywhere the knowledge made available by modern science in the area of control of human reproduction in order to help peoples everywhere in family planning. We urge this because we feel that each child should be a wanted child with the great possibilities for the fullest growth and development of the whole person. The suppression or withholding of such scientific information compounds the threat by depriving free peoples of full knowledge and understanding upon which to make free choices. The American Ethical Union believes it to be the duty of publicly supported hospitals and health and welfare agencies to make family-planning information readily available to everyone, and it urges its own constituent Societies and Groups to work for this goal and to support in all ways they can the program and work leading to that end of the Planned Parenthood Federation.”
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1959-World Council of Churches endorses all forms of Birth Control as part of the answer to population crisis:

The council, representing some 171 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox denominations, emphasized that it was making no official decision. (Said one official: “We are no Vatican; we issue no edicts.”) But in Geneva, the council secretariat authorized publication of a study group’s report that reached a dramatic, clear-cut conclusion: “Limiting or spacing of children is a morally valid thesis . . . There appears to be no moral distinction between the means now known and practiced—whether by the use of estimated periods of fertility [i.e., “rhythm” system], or of artificial barriers to the meeting of sperm and ovum [i.e., contraceptives], or indeed of drugs which would, if made effective and safe, inhibit or control ovulation in a calculable way.”

The committee based part of its argument on a statement of practical problems: the worldwide “population explosion,” high incidence of abortion, Christianity’s occasional tendency to escape reality by taking refuge in tradition. Says the report: “The extremely high rates of abortion in many regions, Eastern and Western, with their toll of human suffering and violation of personality, testify to a tragic determination among parents to find some means, however bad, to prevent unwanted births.” The committee added: “It must be confessed that in the past Christian thought has, especially in the area of the family and its relationships, often clung to tradition without taking into account new knowledge. In the current age, God is calling upon us not to desert the eternal Christian truth but to apply it to the changing circumstances of the modern world.”

True marriage and parenthood, said the committee, are areas in which the Christian is permitted freedom of twofold kind: “This means freedom from sensuality and selfishness which enslave. It also means considerable latitude of choice, when the motives are right, in regard to mutually acceptable and noninjurious means to avert or defer conception.” The only controlling factor: individual conscience. God has put it up to husband and wife to decide for themselves, said the committee, “whether any one act of intercourse shall be for the enrichment or expression of their personal relationship only, or for the begetting of a child also . . . Sexual intercourse within marriage has in itself a goodness given by God, even when there is neither the possibility nor the immediate intention to beget children.”
( SOURCE: Time, Concerning Birth Control, Oct 19,1959)

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1959- The American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code

The American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code (1962) provided an important catalyst. The “tentative draft” of the code’s section on abortion (§ 230.3) was first published in 1959. It proposed that abortion should be a felony, with the level of punishment to depend on whether the abortion took place up to or after the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy. It added, however, that “[a] licensed physician is justified in terminating a pregnancy if he believes there is a substantial risk
(1) that continuation of the pregnancy would gravely impair the physical and mental health of the mother or
(2) (2) that the child would be born with grave physical or mental defect, or
(3) (3) that the pregnancy resulted from rape, incest, or other felonious intercourse.”
During the decade or so between 1962 and 1973, nineteen states reformed their abortion laws. Some adopted all three of the Model Penal Code’s expanded justifications for abortion; others followed it only in part. Four states (Hawaii, Alaska, New York, and Washington) went further and removed all limitations on the reasons for which abortions could be performed. The New York law enacted in 1970 was the most sweeping. It permitted all abortions within the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy and did away with both residency and hospitalization requirements (thus encouraging the growth of free-standing abortion clinics).

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1963-Unitarian General Resolution

WHEREAS, we as Unitarian Universalists are deeply concerned for dignity and rights of human beings; and
WHEREAS, the laws which narrowly circumscribe or completely prohibit termination of pregnancy by qualified medical practitioners are an affront to human life and dignity; and
WHEREAS, these statutes drive many women in the United States and Canada to seek illegal abortions with increased risk of death, while others must travel to distant lands for lawful relief;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: That the Unitarian Universalist Association support enactment of a uniform statute making abortion legal if:
1. There would be grave impairment of the physical or mental health of the mother;
2. The child would be born with a serious physical or mental defect;
3. Pregnancy resulted from rape or incest;
4. There exists some other compelling reason — physical, psychological, mental, spiritual, or economic.
Last updated on Wednesday, March 21, 2007.

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1965- American Ethical Union (AEU) 1965 resolution on abortion follows the Unitarian one and states:

Westport, Connecticut 1965
FOR HUMANE ABORTION LAWS
WHEREAS the social and physical welfare of the woman should be of prime importance in all decisions to interrupt unwanted pregnancies;
WHEREAS the laws of most of the United States stipulate that abortion is illegal unless necessary to preserve the life of the woman;
WHEREAS present laws and prevailing attitudes encourage costly illegal abortions, a scourge imposed by mores of a less enlightened and humane era;
WHEREAS the LIFE of a woman is rarely jeopardized by pregnancy; not infrequently, however, her HEALTH and the proper development of her fetus are so jeopardized;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that it is a moral obligation to eliminate illegal abortion, a social disease and malpractice which discriminates against those who can least afford its outrageous costs, makes them parties to a crime, and imposes serious health hazards and a high incidence of fatalities;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that laws should be enacted making abortion legal if:
1. There is substantial risk of the physical or mental health of the mother,
2. The child is likely to be born with a grave physical or mental defect,
3. Pregnancy results from rape or incest.

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1963 Unitarian General Resolution
WHEREAS, we as Unitarian Universalists are deeply concerned for dignity and rights of human beings; and
WHEREAS, the laws which narrowly circumscribe or completely prohibit termination of pregnancy by qualified medical practitioners are an affront to human life and dignity; and
WHEREAS, these statutes drive many women in the United States and Canada to seek illegal abortions with increased risk of death, while others must travel to distant lands for lawful relief;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: That the Unitarian Universalist Association support enactment of a uniform statute making abortion legal if:
5. There would be grave impairment of the physical or mental health of the mother;
6. The child would be born with a serious physical or mental defect;
7. Pregnancy resulted from rape or incest;
8. There exists some other compelling reason — physical, psychological, mental, spiritual, or economic.
Last updated on Wednesday, March 21, 2007

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1966- American Medical Association

1966- Birth Curb urged by head of AMA: Chicago: Dr. James Z. Appel, outgoing president of the AMA, calls for extra efforts to educate the “lower economic and intellectual levels of society.” On birth control. At the same time, the AMA is picketed for denying membership to Black doctors. ( SOURCE: New York Times: Birth Curb Urged by head of AMA: 6/28/1966)

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1967- American Medical Association ( AMA)

1937 American Medical Association officially recognizes birth control as an integral part of medical practice and education.

1967-Except for periodic condemnation of the criminal abortionist, no further formal AMA action took place until 1967. In that year, the Committee on Human Reproduction urged the adoption of a stated policy of opposition to induced abortion, except when there is “documented medical evidence” of
(1) a threat to the health or life of the mother, or
(2) that the child “may be born with incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency,” or
(3) that a pregnancy “resulting from legally established statutory or forcible rape or incest may constitute a threat to the mental or physical health of the [*143] patient,”
(4) two other physicians “chosen because of their recognized professional competence have examined the patient and have concurred in writing, [**722] ” and
(5) the procedure “is performed in a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.”
The providing of medical information by physicians to state legislatures in their consideration of legislation regarding therapeutic abortion was “to be considered consistent with the principles of ethics of the American Medical Association.” This recommendation was adopted by the House of Delegates. Proceedings of the AMA House of Delegates 40-51 (June 1967). (SOURCE: Blackmun opinion in Roe vs. Wade)

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1967 – UK – Parliament

Abortion Act of 1967
( WIKPEDIA) The Abortion Act 1967 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to regulate abortion by registered practitioners, and the free provision of such medical aid through the National Health Service(NHS).
It was introduced by David (later Lord) Steel as a Private Member’s Bill, but was backed by the government, and after a heated debate and a free vote passed on 27 October 1967, coming into effect on 27 April 1968.
The act made abortion legal in the UK up to 28 weeks gestation.

( Blackmun- Roe V Wade Opinion) –The Abortion Act 1967 permits a licensed physician to perform an abortion where two licensed physicians agree
(1) that he continuance to the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant women , or
(2) of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant women, or
(3) any existing children or her family, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, or
(4) there is substantial risk , that if the child were born, that it would suffer from physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

15 & 16 Eliz. 2, c. 87.

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1967- Colorado legalizes abortion

1967, Colorado became the first state to reform its abortion law based on the ALI recommendation. The new Colorado statute permitted abortions if
(1) the pregnant woman’s life or physical or mental health were endangered,
(2) if the fetus would be born with a severe physical or mental defect, or
(3) if the pregnancy had resulted from rape or incest.
( SOURCE: The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy March 2003, Volume 6, Number 1 Special Analaysis, Lessons from Before Roe: Will Past be Prologue?)

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1967- California legalized abortion

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1967-Episcopal Church

1967- The 62nd General Convention of the Episcopal Church supported abortion law “reform” to permit the “termination of pregnancy” for reasons of life, rape, incest, fetal deformity, or physical mental health of the mother.

For example, the Episcopal Church at its 1964 General Convention stated, “The Church continues to condemn non-therapeutic abortions….” Yet its 1967 General Convention approved abortions where “the physical or mental health of the mother is threatened seriously,” and in cases where the child would be born with disability or was conceived in rape. In 1976, the Episcopal General Convention reaffirmed this statement and went further. It expressed “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter and to act upon them.”
( Source: The Protestant Churches on Abortion: Complex, Contradictory, and Challenging By Kathleen Sweeney)

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1968- Planned Parenthood openly endorses abortion

1968-Planned Parenthood World Population approved unanimously a policy recognizing abortion and sterilization as proper medical procedures. It called for the legalization of both. They elect the first Negro as Chairman, Dr. Jerome H. Holland. Holland pledged his support to the organization and said that those who called birth control a form of “genocide” , “ Are not aware of the real meaning of Family Planning and its uses.” His comments came after the Pittsburgh NAACP critisized family planners in 1967 as bent on trying to keep the Negro birth rate as low as possible. ( SOURCE: New York Times, Abortion and Sterilization Win Support of Planned Parenthood; Proper Medical Procedures, Agency Says — Asks End of Laws Forbidding Them :11/14/1968)

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1968- Planned Parenthood calls for repeal of abortion laws:

1968- Planned Parenthood-World Population, which in November, 1968, passed resolutions calling for repeal of the abortion laws in support of its declared policy of voluntary parenthood..
(SOURCE: The Atlantic, THE RIGHT OF ABORTION, by Harriet Pilpel , 1969)
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1968- Georgia passes Abortion law – Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta

1968- Georgia passed first abortion bill HB281
In the 1967 Georgia Legislative Session Rep. Starnes introduced what eventually became House Bill 281. The bill-in its passage through the State House and Senate in 1967 and 1968-was amended many times in its finer points. From beginning to end, however, it was seen by opponents and proponents alike as one of our nation’s most permissive abortion laws.
H.B. 281 would allow a physician, with the approval of two other doctors, to perform an abortion if:
1) continuation of the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother or would seriously or permanently injure her health,
2) the fetus would very likely be born with a grave, permanent, or irremediable mental or physical defect, or
3) the pregnancy resulted from forcible or statutory rape.

.HB. 281 passed in the Georgia House of Representatives 129-3. The next year it passed in Senate 33-17. Except for one public hearing in 1968, the bill came and went with little notice and even less concern and opposition from the public or the church.

The newspapers favored liberalizing Georgia’s law. The Atlanta Journal gushed, “One of the most enlightened bills in the nation has been passed by both chambers of the legislature and awaits only the signature of Gov. Maddox.” Then in true “newspeak” the paper proclaimed, “Abortion in such cases does more to preserve life than to take it.” (Atlanta Journal, March 2, 1968)
The Pastors
H.B. 281 came to the desk of Governor Lester Maddox-for him to sign, veto or simply ignore and it would automatically become law in 30 days.
Gov. Maddox struggled with the morality of the bill. He went to a local pastor’s association for direction-asking the representatives of 32 denominations (through the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta) to vote on H.B. 281. The pastors’ association was asked to express their own opinion on whether the 1876 abortion law should be liberalized. The vote returned: 117-6 in favor of the new law. This vote by Atlanta’s religious leaders likely convinced Maddox that H.B. 281 was not immoral.
Maddox would not sign but did not veto the bill and it became law on April 15, 1968.
( SOURCE: Georgia RTL The History of The Georgia Right to Life Committee
http://www.grtl.org/history.asp)

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1968- American Baptist Convention

American Baptist abortion resolution

In 1968, the American Baptist Convention adopted a resolution stating that “abortion should be a matter of “responsible, personal decision,” and that legislation should be provided for termination of pregnancies prior to the twelfth week.[4] In the same year, the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urged that efforts be made to abolish existing abortion laws, and that the decision to have an abortion be a private matter between a woman and her physician.[5] Other American denominations such as the United Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church, and the Protestant Episcopal Church adopted similar resolutions.
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1968-United Methodist Church
STUDY DOCUMENTS, SOCIAL POLICY RESOLUTIONS
1968
The “Church and Family” study document stated: “We believe that responsible family planning, practiced in Christian conscience, fulfills the will of God. The present population problems call for a continuing responsible attitude toward family planning. … Recognizing that there are certain circumstances under which abortion may be justified from a Christian standpoint, we recommend a study of existing abortion laws.”]
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1969- United Church of Christ

General Synod first called for legalizing abortion in 1969

Freedom of choice in reproductive matters was first affirmed by the General Synod in 1971 and has been reaffirmed in one way or another by several General Synods since.(SOURCE: APRIL 1996 Office of Communication United Church of Christ )
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Churches cannot agree on abortion 1974

1969- American Psychological Association (APA)

Abortion
WHEREAS, in many state legislature, bills have recently been introduced for the purpose of repealing or drastically modifying the existing criminal codes with respect to the termination of unwanted pregnancies; and WHEREAS, termination of unwanted pregnancies is clearly a mental health and child welfare issue, and a legitimate concern of APA; be it resolved, that termination of pregnancy be considered a civil right of the pregnant woman, to be handled as other medical and surgical procedures in consultation with her physician, and to be considered legal if performed by a licensed physician in a licensed medical facility. ( SOURCE: http://www.apa.org/governance/cpm/chapter12.html Chapter XII. Public Interest (Part
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1969- Arkansas based on the Model Penal Code, Delaware, Kansas, NM, Oregon liberalize abortion laws ( ALL )

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1970: Alaska, Hawaii, New York, and Washington liberalize abortion laws, making abortion available at the request of a woman and her doctor. ( NAF)

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1970 – AMA member Opposed to abortion

1970- Bernard Hirsh, head of the AMA’s legal department in Chicago, said his organization was “violently opposed” to abortion in advanced stages of pregnancy. “ It’s just horrible, whether you call it murder, or anything else” Hirsh said. He said the AMA was opposed to abortions after 12 or 14 weeks and opposed to New York’s limit of 24 weeks. Hirsh said it was not in line with the organization’s policy of good medical practice. (SOURCE: San Mateo, The Times, Aborted Fetus is Surviving: 12/19/1970)

But in June of 1970 the American Medical Association passed a liberal abortion policy:

AMA 1970
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1970- American Public Health Association

1970- adopted standards for abortion services
The position of the American Public Health Association. In October, 1970, the Executive Board of the APHA adopted Standards for Abortion Services. These were five in number:
a. Rapid and simple abortion referral must be readily available through state and local public [p145] health departments, medical societies, or other nonprofit organizations.
b. An important function of counseling should be to simplify and expedite the provision of abortion services; it should not delay the obtaining of these services.
c. Psychiatric consultation should not be mandatory. As in the case of other specialized medical services, psychiatric consultation should be sought for definite indications, and not on a routine basis.
d. A wide range of individuals from appropriately trained, sympathetic volunteers to highly skilled physicians may qualify as abortion counselors.
e. Contraception and/or sterilization should be discussed with each abortion patient.
Recommended Standards for Abortion Services, 61 Am.J.Pub.Health 396 (1971). Among factors pertinent to life and health risks associated with abortion were three that “are recognized as important”:
a. the skill of the physician,
b. the environment in which the abortion is performed, and above all
c. the duration of pregnancy, as determined by uterine size and confirmed by menstrual history.
Id. at 397.
It was said that “a well equipped hospital” offers more protection
to cope with unforeseen difficulties than an office or clinic without such resources. . . . The factor of gestational age is of overriding importance.
Thus, it was recommended that abortions in the second trimester and early abortions in the presence of existing medical complications be performed in hospitals as inpatient procedures. For pregnancies in the first trimester, [p146] abortion in the hospital with or without overnight stay “is probably the safest practice.” An abortion in an extramural facility, however, is an acceptable alternative “provided arrangements exist in advance to admit patients promptly if unforeseen complications develop.” Standards for an abortion facility were listed. It was said that, at present, abortions should be performed by physicians or osteopaths who are licensed to practice and who have “adequate training.” Id. at 398.

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1970- American Psychological Association (APA)

1970- Quote: The APA made this resolution in 1970: “WHEREAS, in many state legislature, bills have recently been introduced for the purpose of repealing or drastically modifying the existing criminal codes with respect to the termination of unwanted pregnancies; and whereas, termination of unwanted pregnancies is clearly a mental health and child welfare issue, and a legitimate concern of APA; be it resolved, that termination of pregnancy be considered a civil right of the pregnant woman, to be handled as other medical and surgical procedures in consultation with her physician, and to be considered legal if performed by a licensed physician in a licensed medical facility.” ( SOURCE- Council Policy Manual: N. Public Interest – Part 1: APA.Org)
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1970- United Methodist Church

STUDY DOCUMENTS, SOCIAL POLICY RESOLUTIONS

UMC 1970 Abortion resolution

The special session of the General Conference approved a resolution on the “population crisis,” which said states should “remove the regulation of abortion from the criminal code, placing it instead under regulations relating to other procedures of standard medical practice. Abortion would be available only upon request of the person most directly concerned.” This was the church’s first official position on abortion.

1970-Population issue: General Conference Meeting in session in St. Louis, Mo. April 25,1970: The resolution recognizes the population problem as a religious and moral concern and calls for action by the church, government, and individuals. It understands the small family norm as a means for arriving at population stability and this protecting the quality of life. The resolution further notes that families with more than two children contribute to the population explosion. The need to remove the regulation of abortion from the criminal code, placing it instead under regulations relating to other procedures of standard medical practice is indicated. ( SOURCE: Rev. David O. Poindexter, Director: Population Communications Center, United Methodist Church, New York: Statements at Public Hearings of the US Commission on Population Growth and the American Future; 1971, LOC # 72-600129; 1972; 67)
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1970- American Lutheran Church

The Environment Crisis, A Statement of The American Lutheran Church (1970)

Adopted by the Fifth General Convention of The American Lutheran Church, October 21-27, 1970, “as a statement expressing the judgment and corporate conviction of The American Lutheran Church as its contribution to the discussions seeking an informed solution to a difficult problem of contemporary life and society.”) Source: The Journal of Lutheran Ethics http://www.elca.org/jle/article.asp?k=202

Population growth was a natural way of aiding the survival of earlier human society. But questions now arise: how many people can the earth sustain? How can we provide the physical and cultural needs, and handle the waste products, of billions of people without destroying the natural environment? Do people have a natural right to produce as many children as they wish? Such questions force a basic policy decision upon the nations of the world: Shall they rely on natural processes to curb, or technological advances to cope with, the rapid growth of population? Or shall it be a matter of public policy to control population growth? What forms of population control can be effective without destroying basic human and democratic rights and values?

Sex, Marriage, and family : Edited by Cedric W. Tilberg
Commission on Marriage, Board of Social Ministry, Lutheran Church in America: 1970
View Here https://www.elca.org/archives/text/Sex%20Marriage%20&%20Family%20A%20Contemporary%20Christian%20Perspective.pdf

( PAGE 76-77) Sterilization by the state for eugenic reasons for the safety of society is justifiable only under the protection of wise and just legislation, which guarantees the most humane means of implementation.

( PAGE 77) Abortions may be done for therapeutic reasons Abortions performed for other reasons are considered illegal when , as defined by present law in most jurisdictions, no medical problem exists which justifies the termination of pregnancy.

( PAGE 79) Legislation ought to be enacted , roughly uniform throughout a nation, which permits abortion for such reasons as the following: 1) threatens a mother’s physical or mental health 2) results from rape or incest, or, 3) is likely to produce a child with severe mental or physical defects
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1970- Presbyterian Church ( USA)

In the PCUS statement adopted in 1970, possible justifying circumstances for an abortion included,
(1) “Medical indications of physical or mental deformity ,
(2) conception as a result of rape of incest,
(3) conditions under which the physical health or mental health of either the mother or child would be gravely threatened, or,
(4) the socio-economic condition of the family.” ( PCUS, Report of the special committee on problem pregnancy and abortion, Published by the Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, 1992 Ref: Minutes, PCUS, Part I, page 126)

1970 Presdby Church read here

the Presbyterian Church (USA) stated in 1962 and reaffirmed in 1965 the following statement:
The fetus is a human life to be protected by the criminal law from the moment when the ovum is fertilized…. [A]s Christians, we believe that this should not be an individual decision on the part of the physician and couple. The decision should be limited and restrained by the larger society.
Despite this strongly pro-life 1965 statement, the Presbyterian Church (USA), in every statement and resolution since 1970, has supported free and open access to abortion without legal restriction. ( Source: The Protestant Churches on Abortion: Complex, Contradictory, and Challenging By Kathleen Sweeney)

Presbyterians have struggled with the issue of abortion for more than 30 years, beginning in 1970 when the General Assembly, the national governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) declared that, “the artificial or induced termination of a pregnancy is a matter of careful ethical decision of the patient…and therefore should not be restricted by law…”(1) In the years that followed this action, the General Assembly has adopted policy and taken positions on the subject of abortion. ( SOURCE: http://www.pcusa.org/101/101-abortion.htm#1)
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1971- Southern Baptist Convention

1971 SBC Abortion Resolution

SBC abortion Resolution 1971Resolutions on Abortion
Resolution On Abortion, adopted at the SBC convention, June 1971:
WHEREAS, Christians in the American society today are faced with difficult decisions about abortion; and
WHEREAS, Some advocate that there be no abortion legislation, thus making the decision a purely private matter between a woman and her doctor; and
WHEREAS, Others advocate no legal abortion, or would permit abortion only if the life of the mother is threatened;
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that this Convention express the belief that society has a responsibility to affirm through the laws of the state a high view of the sanctity of human life, including fetal life, in order to protect those who cannot protect themselves; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we call upon Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as
(1) rape, incest,
(2) clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and
(3) carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother
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1971 United Church of Canada

1971 United Church Canada

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1972- American Bar Association

The position of the American Bar Association. At its meeting in February 1972 the ABA House of Delegates approved, with 17 opposing votes, the Uniform Abortion Act that had been drafted and approved the preceding August by the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. 58 A. B. A. J. 380 (1972). We set forth the Act in full in the margin. n40 The [*147] Conference [**724] has appended an enlightening Prefatory Note. n41 ( SOURCE – Blackmun- Roe v Wade Opinion)

n40 “UNIFORM ABORTION ACT
“SECTION 1. [Abortion Defined; When Authorized.]
“(a) ‘Abortion’ means the termination of human pregnancy with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus.
“(b) An abortion may be performed in this state only if it is performed:
“(1) by a physician licensed to practice medicine [or osteopathy] in this state or by a physician practicing medicine [or osteopathy] in the employ of the government of the United States or of this state, [and the abortion is performed [in the physician’s office or in a medical clinic, or] in a hospital approved by the [Department of Health] or operated by the United States, this state, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of either;] or by a female upon herself upon the advice of the physician; and
“(2) within [20] weeks after the commencement of the pregnancy [or after [20] weeks only if the physician has reasonable cause to believe
there is a substantial risk that continuance of the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother or would gravely impair the physical or mental health of the mother,
(ii) that the child would be born with grave physical or mental defect, or
(iii) that the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, or illicit intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 years].

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1972- United Methodist Church

STUDY DOCUMENTS, SOCIAL POLICY RESOLUTIONS
A study document titled “The Family” calls on local churches to work “to remove the regulation of abortion from the criminal code, placing it instead under laws relating to other procedures of standard medical practice.”
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1973, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

General Assembly Resolution No. 7332 as our precedent. Approved October 1973, NO. 7322 resolved the following:
“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) meeting at Cincinnati, Ohio, October 26-31, 1973, strongly encourages individual congregations to give disciplined study to the matter of abortion, calling upon ethical resources of all God’s people, contemporary and historical, and upon those disciplines which bear upon it, such as medicine, psychology, and laws.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that persons who must decide whether or not to undergo an abortion shall have the informed supportive resources of the Christian community to help them make responsible choices, and that congregations and individuals give 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 which meaningfully can come with the Christian community.” ( SOURCE: http://www.disciples.org/ga/resolutions/0725/)
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1973 – SCOTUS USA

1973 – Justice Blackmun wrote this into the Roe V Wade decision: So this proves that the church swayed the decision of the court – Also make a note that Blackmun sought desperately information on the hippocratic oath and concluded that it was created by a few people and did not represent the entire medical community:

“It may be taken to represent also the position of a large segment of the Protestant community, insofar as that can be ascertained; organized groups that have taken a formal position on the abortion issue have generally regarded abortion as a matter for the conscience of the individual and her family. [n58] “

The foot note leads to 58. Amicus Brief for the American Ethical Union et al. For the position of the National Council of Churches and of other denominations, see Lader 99-101.

And it is no wonder, Blackmun made that comment: because their (AEU) 1965 resolution on abortion follows the Unitarian one and states:

Westport, Connecticut 1965
FOR HUMANE ABORTION LAWS
WHEREAS the social and physical welfare of the woman should be of prime importance in all decisions to interrupt unwanted pregnancies;
WHEREAS the laws of most of the United States stipulate that abortion is illegal unless necessary to preserve the life of the woman;
WHEREAS present laws and prevailing attitudes encourage costly illegal abortions, a scourge imposed by mores of a less enlightened and humane era;
WHEREAS the LIFE of a woman is rarely jeopardized by pregnancy; not infrequently, however, her HEALTH and the proper development of her fetus are so jeopardized;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that it is a moral obligation to eliminate illegal abortion, a social disease and malpractice which discriminates against those who can least afford its outrageous costs, makes them parties to a crime, and imposes serious health hazards and a high incidence of fatalities;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that laws should be enacted making abortion legal if:
1. There is substantial risk of the physical or mental health of the mother,
2. The child is likely to be born with a grave physical or mental defect,
3. Pregnancy results from rape or incest.

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General

Until the late 1960s, Protestant churches were virtually unanimous in opposing abortion. The child in the womb was surrounded with protection. As an example, the Presbyterian Church (USA) stated in 1962 and reaffirmed in 1965 the following statement: The fetus is a human life to be protected by the criminal law from the moment when the ovum is fertilized…. [A]s Christians, we believe that this should not be an individual decision on the part of the physician and couple. The decision should be limited and restrained by the larger society. Despite this strongly pro-life 1965 statement, the Presbyterian Church (USA), in every statement and resolution since 1970, has supported free and open access to abortion without legal restriction. Almost simultaneously, the United Methodists (1970), the Lutheran Church in America (1970), the United Church of Christ (1971), the Disciples of Christ (1971), and the Southern Baptist Convention (1971) adopted policies allowing abortion as a decision of the woman or the couple. (Fortunately, the Southern Baptist Convention has now come back to a strongly pro-life position.)
For example, the Episcopal Church at its 1964 General Convention stated, “The Church continues to condemn non-therapeutic abortions….” Yet its 1967 General Convention approved abortions where “the physical or mental health of the mother is threatened seriously,” and in cases where the child would be born with disability or was conceived in rape. In 1976, the Episcopal General Convention reaffirmed this statement and went further. It expressed “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter and to act upon them.”
However, in 1988 a resolution passed which declared that “All human life is sacred…from inception until death….We regard all abortion as having a tragic dimension….We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience….” ( Source: The Protestant Churches on Abortion: Complex, Contradictory, and Challenging By Kathleen Sweeney)

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1974 Lutherans split in abortion

1974 Lutherans split on abortion

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1976: EPISCOPAL Church:

Title: Reaffirm the 1967 General Convention Statement on Abortion
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred As Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the following principles and guidelines reflect the mind of the Church meeting in this 65th General Convention:

That the beginning of new human life, because it is a gift of the power of God’s love for his people, and thereby sacred, should not and must not be undertaken unadvisedly or lightly but in full accordance of the understanding for which this power to conceive and give birth is bestowed by God.
Such understanding includes the responsibility for Christians to limit the size of their families and to practice responsible birth control. Such means for moral limitations do not include abortions for convenience.
That the position of this Church, stated at the 62nd General Convention of the Church in Seattle in 1967 which declared support for the “termination of pregnancy” particularly in those cases where “the physical or mental health of the mother is threatened seriously, or where there is substantial reason to believe that the child would be born badly deformed in mind or body, or where the pregnancy has resulted from rape or incest” is reaffirmed. Termination of pregnancy for these reasons is permissible.
That in those cases where it is firmly and deeply believed by the person or persons concerned that pregnancy should be terminated for causes other than the above, members of this Church are urged to seek the advice and counsel of a Priest of this Church, and, where appropriate, Penance.
That whenever members of this Church are consulted with regard to proposed termination of pregnancy, they are to explore with the person or persons seeking advice and counsel other preferable courses of action.
That the Episcopal Church express its unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter and to act upon them.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of…The Episcopal Church, Minneapolis, 1976 (New York: General Convention, 1977), p. C-3.

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5 Responses to “The American church’s complicity with legalized abortion”

  1. […] have already done timelines for eugenics and also for how the church accepted abortion prior to it’s legalization so watching this compilation of the acceptance of birth control […]

  2. […] before Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand. Those pro-abortion resolutions helped lay the foundation for the tragic SCOTUS […]

  3. […] Harry Blackmun wrote the Roe V. Wade decision, legalizing abortion on demand. In truth, those pro-abortion resolutions helped lay the foundation for the tragic SCOTUS […]

  4. […] – more easily disposed of – than a so-called healthy one. Sadly, this idea was introduced by many American churches whose abortion resolutions led the way for the language which was later […]

  5. […] child with medical issues was of less value than a so-called healthy one. And, sadly, this idea was introduced by many American churches whose abortion resolutions led the way for the language which was later […]

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