On Wednesday, the Office of Government Relations of the Episcopal Church reaffirmed our denomination’s commitment to “equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health,” calling this access “an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.” Since 1967, the Episcopal Church has maintained its “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions (about the termination of pregnancy) and to act upon them.” **
Lay and ordained leaders throughout The Episcopal Church counsel women, men, and families who must make decisions relating to pregnancy and childbirth, adoption, family planning, and infertility, walking alongside individuals in the midst of this intimate and challenging dimension of human life. Informed by this ministry, the Church addresses the topic of abortion from a position of lived experience of both laity and clergy, recognizing the moral, legal, personal, and societal complexity of the issue. The diversity of views within the Church reflects this complexity, as well as our commitment to be a meeting ground of mutual respect and dignity. While the Church opposes abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, or sex selection, it fully supports a woman’s right to make informed decisions on her own health and to act accordingly.
The Church further believes that “legislating abortions will not address the root of the problem,” and expresses the “conviction that any proposed legislation on the part of national or state governments regarding abortions must take special care to see that the individual conscience is respected, and that the responsibility of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter is acknowledged and honored as the position of this Church.” The Office of Government Relations will continue to advocate at the federal level to protect reproductive rights.
If you would like the opportunity to talk and listen in community about the events of this week, Rebecca+ and the clergy team will be offering a time to reflect on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion and the Episcopal Church’s stance on abortion and reproductive justice and health care after the 10 am service on Sunday. We will gather in the south transept.
** All quotations are taken from episcopalchurch.org