Anglican Church leaders in Jamaica said last week that they want to see abortions legalized in their nation.
Stabroek News reports Lord Bishop Howard Gregory gave the Anglican Church’s first official statement on the issue during a synod meeting last week in St. James.
Jamaican lawmakers are debating whether to legalize the killing of unborn babies up to 12 weeks in abortions. Except in limited circumstances, unborn babies currently are protected under the law.
Gregory said the church believes abortions should be legal in “cases of rape or incest, cases in which a mother’s physical or mental health is at risk, or cases involving fetal abnormalities.” He said they oppose abortions for “birth control, family planning, sex selection, or for any reason of mere convenience.”
While the categories may seem narrow, abortions for “health” reasons tend to be widely interpreted; pregnancy itself is a health matter, and abortionists can use the category to justify killing unborn babies for basically any reason.
Here’s more from the report:
“At the same time, the church takes seriously the crucial role which a woman plays in the decision-making process, and who must be accorded due consideration and respect,” he said.
He told attendees at the start of the annual synod that the debate about the legal provisions for abortion must be undergirded by the Christian understanding of grace which comes from God.
Grace, he said, “does not begin with sin, as so many preach,” but as conveyed by St Paul, it begins with God’s love.
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The Anglican Church leaders are not alone. Earlier this spring, another group of religious leaders in Jamaica signed a letter urging lawmakers to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
These leaders are going against centuries of Christian teachings and most Christians’ beliefs about the value of every human life.
Though the Bible does not mention the word “abortion,” it does condemn what an abortion does – kill an innocent, vulnerable unborn baby who is made in the image of God. Jesus placed great value on children when others in society did not in Matthew 19:14, and Proverbs 6:16-17 states that one of the things God hates most is the shedding of innocent blood. One of the ten commandments forbids murder.
Many Christian churches, including the Catholic Church, teach that every human life is valuable from conception to natural death, and the Bible recognizes that babies in the womb are valuable. The story of Jesus’ own birth includes references to unborn babies and their value.
Opposing abortion is not just a Christian view. People who practice other religions or no religion at all also believe it is wrong to kill an innocent human being, no matter how small they are.