"The United Methodist Church clearly opposes partial-birth abortion, so to remain affiliated with a coalition that aggressively supports it is inappropriate." -- Director of UM Action Mark Tooley
Contact: Loralei Coyle 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, email@example.com; both with The Institute on Religion and Democracy
WASHINGTON, April 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) yesterday denounced the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Federal ban on the procedure commonly known as Partial-Birth Abortion as a "serious setback." RCRC, which exists to promote the availability of abortion, is supported by several mainline Christian denominations, including the 8-million-member United Methodist Church.
In 2003, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Board of Directors opposed the legislation that led to the Partial Birth Abortion ban. The United Methodist Board of Church & Society and the United Methodist Women's Division belong to RCRC.
United Methodist teaching opposes partial-birth abortion. The Book of Discipline states, "We oppose the use of late-term abortion, known 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…"
Mark Tooley, Director of IRD's UM Action Committee, commented:
"The UMC position on partial birth abortion is clear. During the 2000 General Conference, an effort to add a vague 'health' exception to the position in the Social Principles was summarily rebuffed.
"The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice exists solely to provide a faith-based veneer for aggressively promoting the availability of abortion. Its goals clearly contradict the UMC's official positions.
"The United Methodist Church clearly opposes partial-birth Abortion, so to remain affiliated with a coalition that aggressively supports it is inappropriate. It is time for United Methodist agencies to sever all affiliation with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice."
The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.