United Methodists have voted to require church boards and agencies to withdraw immediately from an organization that advocates for abortion on demand. Delegates from across the 12.1 million-member denomination adopted a proposal concluding affiliation with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) on a vote of 425 to 268 (61 percent to 39 percent) during their quadrennial General Conference meeting in Portland, Oregon.
Two United Methodist agencies, the General Board on Church and Society (GBCS) and United Methodist Women (UMW) are coalition members of RCRC.
The legislation’s rationale states that RCRC “is a one-sided political lobby that opposes all disapproval or limitation of abortion. RCRC’s advocacy often directly contradicts our Social Principles on abortion, but it still uses our Church’s name. Several annual conferences and many United Methodist leaders have urged the Church to end all association with RCRC.”
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UM Action Director and Elected General Conference Delegate John Lomperis commented:
“There is nothing moderate or nuanced about RCRC, which has consistently lobbied to defend grisly ‘partial-birth’ abortions, even after our Social Principles included a statement ‘call[ing] for the end of this late-term practice’.
“In contrast to the United Methodist Church, RCRC dismisses the value of unborn human life. RCRC even promotes rituals to bless all the work of elective abortion clinics, describing aborting unborn children as always ‘holy work.’
“This is a necessary and good step towards affirming that the unborn are persons of sacred worth. This also shows the UMC moving away from other liberal, declining, ‘mainline’ denominations to embrace a new faithful, global identity.”