Petition 81124

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Abortion (81124-C2-¶161.J)

   Amend ¶ 161J
    J) Abortion—Human beings are created by God. The beginning of life  Conception and the ending of life  physical death are the God-given boundaries of earthly human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, through much of history, they now have also had the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will  would be born. Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason inform our Our belief in the sanctity of unborn  all human life as God’s gift, the lives of the unborn as well as those of the mothers. Therefore, we are makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the well-being of the mother., for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy. In continuity with past Christian teaching, we  We recognize tragic and rare conflicts  of life with life  , where the life of the unborn child directly and immediately threatens the physical life of the mother, that may seem to justify abortion, and in such cases we encourage clergy and congregations to pray for and support such mothers and their families.  support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection. We hold that women considering abortion should be fully informed of all the health risks involved, both medical and psychological. We unconditionally oppose any form of coerced abortion, whether coerced by the pressure of family members, friends, or employers, by governmental decree, or solicited by promise of reward. We oppose the use of late-term abortion known as dilation and extraction (partial birth abortion), and call for the end of this practice. except when the physical life of the mother is in danger and no other medical procedure is available. We deplore the corruption of language through the multiplication of euphemisms to trivialize the intentional taking of a human life by abortion (e.g., calling the developing child in the womb a “glob of tissue,” a “foreign invader,” or a “parasite”; pretending that “fetus,” for centuries an exact synonym for “unborn child,” represents something subhuman; referring to abortion as a mere “termination of pregnancy” or “medical procedure”; and calling it a "choice” when so many women “choosing” it do so because they think that their situation allows no other choice). We deplore also abortion’s transformation from a rare clinical necessity (now virtually unnecessary with today’s medical technology) to an expanding profit-making industry offering its “products”: dead babies for confused and hurting women, fetal tissue for medical research, and spare body parts and other articles for those already born. For these reasons, we reject the label, “pro-choice,” which signifies unconditional support for any and all abortions for whatever reason. We also deplore any threats or violence, including murder, inflicted on those who protest abortion, on those who perform abortion, and on those assist in performing abortions; such actions violate Christian teaching.
    We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may warrant abortion. We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries (including the ministry of forgiveness) to those who terminate a pregnancy for any reason, and hospitality ministries (including the ministry of adoption) to those in the midst of a crisis difficult pregnancy, and to those who give birth. We recognize that governmental Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christians  conscience . Therefore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel.  Such laws and regulations should not permit or advance a casual disregard for unborn human life. In a culture which devalues human life, the Church must offer the life-giving, life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rationale

The present statement needs improvement. It wrongly asserts or assumes that:
  -abortion never vexed earlier generations.
  -(paradoxically) our theology has long supported abortion.
  -abortion does not harm women physically or psychologically.
  -partial-birth abortion is sometimes “medically necessary.”
  -abortion providers are altruists.
  -all abortion counsel is godly and helpful.