The abortion debate is growing throughout the United States.
Among those who do identify with a religion, the majority view about abortion among members of a particular group often mirrors that group’s official policy on abortion.
“This is the case with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church) and the Southern Baptist Convention – both churches oppose abortion, as do most members of those churches.” a 2017 report taken from a survey of 35,000 Americans stated.
“And the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Unitarian Universalist Association, and Reform and Conservative Judaism, for example, all support abortion rights, in line with most of their adherents.”
Conservative and some “mainline” denominations are found in most religions, and are generally opposed to abortions. They have adopted a range of policies:
🔹Some are unalterably opposed to all abortions, from conception to birth, for any reason;
🔹Some would allow abortion only to save the woman’s life;
🔹Some would permit abortion to save her life or when pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.
There are approximately 1,000 denominations in North America who take a pro-life stand and oppose abortion access. The largest of these are:
🔹The Roman Catholic Church, the largest Christian group in the world with about one billion members. They teach that abortions are a form of murder, no matter what the situation or conditions leading up to the pregnancy.
The only exception is when a medical procedure needed that has the death of the embryo or fetus as an undesired and unintended side effect. Contrary to the historical record, the church also teaches that its current position has remained unchanged from the beginning of Christianity.
🔹The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., also opposes elective abortions.
Other large pro-life groups opposing elective abortions are:
🔹African Methodist Episcopal Church
🔹Assemblies of God
🔹Church of God in Christ
🔹Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons)
🔹Church of the Nazarene
🔹Eastern Orthodox churches
🔹Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.
🔹Progressive National Baptist Convention
🔹The Salvation Army
And hundreds of others, including all or essentially all Fundamentalist, Pentecostal, Charismatic and other Evangelical denominations.
An exception among conservative Christian groups is the Seventh Day Adventist Church. They are pro-choice to the extent that they believe that “The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation.”
However, they do not condone abortions “…for reasons of birth control, gender selection, or convenience…”
They recognize that abortion can be a legitimate option for some women who “face exceptional circumstances that present serious moral or medical dilemmas, such as significant threats to the pregnant woman’s life, serious jeopardy to her health, severe congenital defects carefully diagnosed in the fetus, and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.”
A conservative Jewish exception is the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.
They support a case-by case analysis in accordance with Jewish law.
“We cannot endorse a public policy that does not reflect the complex response of halacha (Jewish law) to the abortion issue. In most circumstances the halacha proscribes abortion but there are cases in which halacha permits and indeed mandates abortion. The question is a sensitive one and personal decisions in this area should be made in consultation with recognized halachic authorities.”