Health and Wellness

Pro Life Religions in America

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.” 

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6 replies »

  1. A really interesting look at this. This is a very divisive topic, isn’t it? I know many women will also not like the many men involved in saying abortions are murder and making key decisions higher up in governments that affect their bodies, that affect processes men will have no real understanding of as they’ve never been through it.
    As for religion, that’s another matter. I know some Christians who are pro-choice, and likewise those that are against abortion may think (as you’ve noted here) there are circumstances under which abortions are more acceptable. It’s really hard because no decision made – to allow or to disallow abortion – will suit everyone. I just hate the way pro-life campaigners can sometimes crowd outside of abortion centres to make women, who are likely already in immense distress, feel even more horrific and guilty.
    I think the religious compassion for unborn children, even those that are still mere cells in the womb, should be extended to compassion for the woman and the child that will grow up perhaps unwanted or inadequately cared for.
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have always maintained a fairly neutral stance and see both sides. As I’ve aged, my propensity has moved towards pro-life.
      This article was prompted by several (actually four) CleverJourneys readers who sent emails or left comments about the subject.
      Thank you for your response and readership.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack, Enjoyed this post…but. The Catholic Church, since its founding by Christ, has always been “pro-life” and always condemned abortion. May I refer you to the following: https://www.hli.org/resources/has-the-catholic-church-always-condemned-abortion/

    Having compassion for women in great distress is not akin to being supportive of abortion. And, of course, supporting women in need for help is also a given. As Invisibly Me noted, those screaming at women outside of abortion centers is very often counter-productive. My wife worked as a counselor at a women’s center for several years in Jax. Pre and post- birth care and support were extended and post-abortion counseling was also extended to women that chose to abort and later regretted it. And those numbers were many. Interesting, too, how many women were brought to the center thinking it was an abortion clinic. I say brought because many of these girls had every indication of being victims of human trafficking. Abortion centers are a huge business with little real compassion for the women seeking or being forced to terminate their pregnancies,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s a lot of irreligious Pro-Life folk, too. My religious views are neither here nor there where pew survey is concerned, but I am Pro-Life for example. There’s a lot of “sects” of ‘alternative’ religions which are Anti-Infanticide as well, a lot of Buddhists, Hindoos and varieties of Pagans.

    Liked by 1 person

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