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Uniting for Life

Spring, 1990


NOEL Convocation Draws 400, Appoints Dacey New Director

Fairfax, VA (Jan 19-22) - The National Organization of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL) held its 5th annual convocation in Fairfax, Virginia. Workshops at the convocation covered a wide range of pro-life issues including: legislation, sex education, euthanasia, pro-life feminism, prayer, fund raising and youth involvement.

NOEL which now has 105 chapters and a mailing list of 19,000, also recently appointed Mary Ann Dacey as Executive Director.

Southern Baptists Hold Sanctity of Life Conference

Dallas/Fort Worth (Dec. 4-5) The Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention held a two day conference specifically dedicated to the Sanctity of Human Life. The program attracted more than 250 pastors and church leaders from more than 14 states.

The Christian Life Commission, headed by Dr. Richard Land, is the social concerns arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is a denomination of 38,000 churches and 14.9 million members.

Topics covered at the conference included: Reviewing the Webster Decision, Building Crisis Pregnancy Centers, What Really Happens In an Abortion Clinic, How to Lobby the Pro-Life Issue, Prenatal Diagnostics, and Is the Right to Life a Women's Issue.

Presbyterian Church: Abortion Debate Continues

Kansas City MO (Nov. 17-18) - An historic debate within the Presbyterian Church (USA) began in Kansas City on November 17 which allowed both sides within the church to present arguments in favor of and opposed to abortion.

This debate marks the first time in 15 years that the Presbyterian Church has looked openly at abortion. Presbyterians Pro-Life (PPL), which has a mailing list of 17,000 and works within the denomination, is hopeful that this formal dialogue will move the church to reconsider its permissive abortion stance.

Terry Schlossberg, Executive Director of PPL, said, "We can be thankful both sides had an opportunity to state their positions in their own words. Abortion has been shrouded in a dark silence for years. This dialogue let some light in."

New Moravian Group Opposes Abortion

Lake Mills, Wisconsin - A new group of pro-life Moravians called MorLife has been formed to work to restore respect for human life by opposing abortion, euthanasia and infanticide. The group will provide pro-life biblically based educational material to pastors and church members and encourage support of a pro-life position. Their ultimate goal is to have the Moravian Church adopt a pro-life policy.

News Briefs

Idaho Governor Andrus Vetoes Critical Pro-Life Legislation Boise (March 30) - Bending to pro-abortion pressure, Governor Cecil D. Andrus vetoed a measure which would have prohibited abortion from being used as a means of birth control. The Governor, who had previously taken a strong pro-life position, waited until the legislature was out ofsession to veto the bill, thereby preventing an override. If the bill had gone into effect, it could have prevented more than 90% of the abortions performed in Idaho.

Lead or Be Led? -Evangelical Lutheran Church Reverses Position and Takes "Neutral" Stance on Abortion - At its first legislative assembly, the newly formed 5.3 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a "neutral" position on abortion. The resolution came after the adoption of a previous resolution calling for "free access to (abortion) services," which some delegates viewed as advocating abortion.

In attempting to clarify the position, church president, Bishop Herbert W. Chistrom, said the original (free access) resolution, taken literally, would be contrary to previous church statements.

One delegate indicated that the church would either lead or be led on the abortion issue. The abortion policy is expected to be revisited at the next general assembly in 1991.

U.C.C.Friends for Life Launches Membership Campaign within Denomination (Jan. 24) - The United Church of Christ Friends for Life has launched a membership campaign by challenging church members - "If you are pro-life, stand up and be counted."

The drive is also designed to motivate pro-life members to challenge others in the church to "...embrace the teachings of the historical Christian Church which upholds the God-given value of life..."

Candlelight Vigil Draws 200 in Texas Galveston (Jan. 22) - A Sunday night candlelight vigil, in observance of Sanctity of Life day, was held at the Galveston County Courthouse to commemorate the more than 24 million babies who have been killed by abortion in the United States. The ecumenical gathering had representatives from more than eight different churches and numerous pro-life and pro-family groups.

Guest Editorial

The Shame At 100 Maryland Avenue

By James S. Robb

Let's try an experiment. We'll call it "Ministry by Xerox Machine." I challenge each reader to make five photocopies of this column and send it to five concerned United Methodists. Then I ask those five persons to, in turn, copy it five times and send it to five of their friends. And so on. What's it about? Well it's about something sinister and un-Methodist going on at our United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C.

That's the building that sits right across from the U.S. Capitol building and next door to the Supreme Court. Frankly, it's one of the finest pieces of real estate in the entire world.

Yet how many Untied Methodists know that the most important group supportingabortionhas its headquarters in that same United Methodist Building?

The group calls itself the Religious Coalition on Abortion Rights (RCAR). Its aim? To keep abortion legal, even those abortions done just for convenience or to save money. In other words RCAR thinks abortions performed as a sort of last resort birth control are all right.

I'll bet you a dime to a dollar that a good 80 percent of United Methodists oppose abortions for convenience or to save money. Moreover, the United Methodist Discipline, our church's lawbook, opposes abortion as a means of birth control.

If that's true, why do we allow the Religious Coalition on Abortion Rights to rent space there? The answer may shock.

The building's owner is the United Methodist Board of Church and Society - the Church agency which makes social action statements on behalf of the denomination. The board has its headquarters in the building, and it rents space to other groups which share the board's outlook.

Believe it or not, the Methodist Board of Church and Society actually belongs to the Religious Coalition on Abortion Rights. That's why it is willing to rent space to the coalition. It believes in what the group is doing.

If you find that hard to swallow, hold on to your hat. The Board of Church and Society founded the abortion organization some 15 years ago. That's right. The Board had lots of help, including several thousand dollars from the Playboy Foundation. And of course lots of other liberal church organizations also belong to the coalition. But did you know that the Women's Division of the UM mission board belongs to RCAR? It's true - the national sponsor of the United Methodist Women groups has committed itself to the pro-abortion cause. Don't believe it? Call them and ask.

Do your church women hold bazaars, dinners and bake sales to raise money to send to the "missions"? If so, rest assured that one of the causes they are supporting is America's premier pro-abortion lobby.

Every year, on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion, people like you and me who oppose unrestricted abortion hold a march in Washington to protest the status quo.

On that same day RCAR holds a news conference at our United Methodist Building to argue for keeping abortion unregulated.

Every time a committee of Congress holds a hearing on abortion, RCAR testifies, claiming to represent you since you are a United Methodist. It helped organize a big pro-abortion march earlier this year which was attended by lots of officials of the Board of Church and Society and the Women's Division.

Imagine you are a member of Congress. You are trying to decide whether to vote for or against funds for Medicaid abortions. You happen to be a member of the United Methodist Church. A man comes by your office. Says he's from the Religious Coalition on Abortion Rights. He explains that your denomination belongs. He points over to the United Methodist Building - says the coalition's offices are there. Then he asks you to be a good Christian and vote the money for abortion. What would you think?

To do nothing is to agree. Let's get RCAR out of our building. How? By writing to the Board of Church and Society and complaining, and sending a copy of your letter to your bishop. Address Rev. Thomas W. Fassett, General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society, 100 Maryland Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002. To get the name of your bishop, call the Methodist toll-free Info-Serve number, 1-800-251-8140.

If you believe, as I do, that convenience abortion is murder, write the letters.

And please, make five copies of this article and send them to United Methodist friends. It's time to reclaim our building.

The above editorial appeared in the January/February, 1990 issue of Good News Magazine which is the largest evangelical publication within the Untied Methodist Church. Reprinted with permission.

More News

Few Doctors Willing to Perform Abortions

The New York Times reported recently that fewer and fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions because of the social stigma.

A poll by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists taken in 1985 indicated that fewer than one third of the doctors surveyed actually performed abortions and those who did performed very few. Only four percent actually performed more than 26 abortions per month.

The Times quoted obstetrician Dr. Curtis E. Harris, who heads the American Academy of Medical Ethics, a group of 21,000 doctors that favors greatly restricting the availability of abortions.

"Most gynecologists work to bring a child into the world in a healthy state," Dr. Harris said, adding that performance of abortion "is a real contradiction."

Numerous abortion providers have indicated they have had trouble finding doctors who are willing to work in abortion clinics. Dr. Warren Hern, who directs the Boulder Abortion Clinic in Colorado, said abortion doctors "are treated as a pariah by the medical community."

Dr. Dennis D. Christensen, who directs an abortion clinic in Wisconsin indicated that once a doctor starts performing abortions it can be hard to do much else.

Patients who seek abortions appear unwilling to return to an abortionist for other medical services.


April 28, 1990 Washington, D.C.


Come and be a part of the largest gathering in the history of the Right to Life movement. Help us speak for the babies.

Rally For Life '90 will be held on Saturday, April 28, beginning at 2:00 p.m. However, we are encouraging you to arrive on the grounds early to be included in the official count. We will provide entertainment.

Confirmed speakers to date include:

Dr. J.C. Willke, President of National Right to Life;

Congressman Henry Hyde, Honorary Chairman of the rally;

John Cardinal O'Connor, Chairman of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for Pro-Life Activities;

Dr. James Dobson, President of Focus on the Family;

Lisa Whechel who starred as Blair on the long-running television series Facts of Life.

NPRC Incorporates - Seeks Associate Member Churches

The National Pro-Life Religious Council (NPRC), which is a Christian based pro-life organization, has completed incorporation as a 501(c)3 educational organization. NPRC's membership includes both individuals and other organizations who work to promote pro-life Christian activities and programs.

Louisa Rucker, President of the Council stated, "We have grown to the point where we have formalized our group's structure through incorporation."

"We are also expanding our group by offering a new class of membership called Associate Member which is tailored to allow local churches and individuals to become part of NPRC for a nominal fee," Rucker said.

Click here for membership form!

Archbishop Receives Standing Ovation at Pro-Life Mass

Baltimore (Jan. 21) - Archbishop William H. Keeler received a standing ovation for his homily at a special pro-life mass commemorating the 17th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. In explaining the need to support life and oppose abortion the Archbishop said,

"Some indeed speak of a right to choose, but this approach denies any choice but death to the voiceless one in the womb….

"In our defense of human life, we are participating, we know, as American citizens in a civil rights movement of the highest order.

"In our free, pluralistic society no one individual, no one group can impose its moral vision on another. But each citizen has a right and an obligation to contribute his or hermoral vision forthe common good...

"As followers of Jesus we have special motivation to defend life we believe to be sacred because it is also of God's making..."

Baptist Churches Observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Grand Rapids, Michigan (Jan 21) - Baptists for Life (BFL), the pro-life arm of the General Association of Regular Baptists, announced that 330 member churches participated in special pro-life services commemorating the tragic loss of respect for life emanating from the Jan. 22, 1973 Supreme Court decisions which legalized abortion on demand.

Pastor Mark Blocker, Executive Director of BFL, stated, "Our emphasis this year was on the reality of spiritual warfare in the abortion debate.

"We believe encouraging prayer is a very important part of our pro-life work, and it paid off, because this year we experienced a 50 percent increase in the number of churches observing Sanctity of Human Life Sunday," Blocker said.

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