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Pro and Con

John Paul II
Much of the heat generated in the political battle over abortion rights versus the right to life comes from the fervor of religious groups, particularly those that oppose abortion and equate it with murder. Most outspoken among these groups in the U.S. are the Christian Coalition and the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Information Center on the Internet contains a sizable section laying out the Church's position, under the title Abortion--Questions and Answers.

UCC logo
Everybody knows how the Pope stands on abortion. By no means, however, do all churches support the right-to-life position. A number of mainstream Protestant churches, for example the United Church of Christ (UCC), have publicly opposed Congressional conservatives' efforts to allow states to prohibit Medicaid funds for abortions in cases of rape or incest. On the broader issue of abortion, some churches decline to take an official stand, preferring to allow their members to decide the issue for themselves.

Presbyterian logo
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has taken a position that discourages abortion but does not oppose it outright. In a 1992 statement, the church, speaking through its General Assembly, staked out an essentially pro-choice position, arguing that, while "abortion should not be used as a method of birth control...," "...[t]he considered decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy can be a morally acceptable... decision."

Thus the issue of abortion rights versus "right to life" brings out widely differing moral and ethical stands within America's churches.


Four star For a world of resources on the world's religions, we recommend Facets of Religion, a 4-star site as rated by the McKinley Internet Yellow Pages and the online McKinley Magellan Internet Guide.

Posted July, 1996.
© Copyright 1996 OBS