Mainline Protestant Churches Criticized for Promoting Pro-Abortion Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mainline Protestant Churches Criticized for Promoting Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 1
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Several of the mainline Protestant church denominations have historically advocated abortion even though doing so conflicts with Christian Biblical teachings. These denominations are continuing to promote abortion under the guise of touting health care reform.

The lobbying offices of the mainline churches have joined with abortion advocacy groups in opposing the Stupak-Pitts restriction against taxpayer funding of abortion.

Unlike the evangelical left, which has sought to consolidate liberal evangelical support behind Obamacare by promising (perhaps disingenuous) protections against government funded abortion, the old religious left is urging constituents to tell the Senate to defeat any attempt to ban abortion funding.

Reverend Carlton Veazey of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which includes such denominations as the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ, recently sent a letter to members of the Senate.

"It is now up to the Senate to keep health care reform free of religious doctrine and restrictions that will prevent women from making their own reproductive health care choices," he said of abortion funding.

Mark Tooley, the president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, has noticed the divide between mainline Protestants and liberal evangelicals who at least say they want to keep abortion funding out of health care.

"For the mostly new Evangelical Left and the old Religious Left, government-imposed universal health care is a long-time totem for which their activists have toiled across years and decades," he told today. "Politically liberal evangelicals who still are pro-life, or who at least care about gathering support from the majority of evangelicals who are, remain anxious to preserve Stupak-Pitts."

"The old Religious Left, which has enthusiastically supported unrestricted abortion since the 1960s, sees the proposed abortion funding restriction in Obamacare as a nightmarish stain upon their utopian dream of socialized medicine," he noted.

Tooley highlighted an alert that the United Methodist lobby office sent out to supporters saying health care reform passage in the House was honored as a "major milestone."

But the office lamented that "what should have been a celebratory moment" had been tarnished by "restrictive language" that "politicized health care and posed the possibility of a tremendous setback for access to comprehensive reproduction health coverage."

That language is the Stupak amendment that prohibits forcing Americans to pay for abortions under the health care bill.

"United Methodism officially opposes partial-birth abortions and abortions for gender-selection or birth control. But the ultra-liberal United Methodist Capitol Hill lobby office interprets the stance as supporting unrestricted abortion rights," Tooley noted.

While the pro-life liberal evangelicals and old-guard pro-abortion Protestants may disagree on Stupak, Tooley predicts they will come together to support the government-run health care bill whether abortion funding is prohibited or not.

"Evangelical Left activists like Jim Wallis desperately want Obamacare — even if it entails abortion restrictions — and see Stupak-Pitts as a sweetener for their constituency. Hard-line old Religious Leftists portray Stupak-Pitts as an outrageous accommodation of theocracy," he says.

"Both Evangelical Left and Religious Left are united in their messianic hopes for socialized health care and almost certainly will support Obamacare ultimately in any form," he predicted.

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