Opinion

Shock: Presbyterian Church USA votes against denouncing infanticide

The Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly made a lot of headlines when they voted to bless same-sex marriages. But Wesley J. Smith brings up a far more disturbing vote at the convention that isn’t getting as many headlines: voting no to protect babies born alive after a failed abortion.

Heck, they wouldn’t even be the ones doing the protecting. All the measure was asking for was prayerful reflection, and to denounce the practice of killing babies born alive after abortion. Not many people could find a problem with that — except our wonderful pro-abortion president, of course — but apparently, Presbyterians do. Check out the failed motion:

The Presbytery of South Alabama overtures the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to do the following:

1. Call for the Presbyterian Mission Agency and member congregations to enter a two-year season of reflection upon the plight of children unwanted by human society, both born and not-yet born, and to purposefully seek to enter the pure worship of God by offering aid, comfort, and the Gospel to those responsible for the care of our most desperate orphans (including those who survive abortion procedures): parents, siblings, church and community leaders, and the medical profession.

2. Direct the Moderator of the General Assembly and the Stated Clerk to issue statements that denounce the practice of killing babies born live following an abortion procedure, such as was revealed in the Dr. Kermit Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia.

3. Direct the Moderator to appoint a Special Committee on Abortion Review, carefully balanced with members representing both pro-life and pro-choice viewpoints, to

a. Conduct a thorough assessment of the financial, in-kind, lodgment, publicity, and staff support that the PC(USA) provides to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and other abortion providers or pro-choice organizations. A similar review should be made of denominational support provided for pro-life organizations and pro-life crisis-pregnancy support centers.

b. Review existing policies and, if needed, propose new policies that will more accurately represent the PC(USA) in its breadth of conviction about abortion, taking into account our churches’ desire to worship God in purest form (Jas. 1:27). Any new policies shall incorporate more fully the voices of pro-life Presbyterians, who have to this point largely been kept silent in denominational advocacy.

Evidently, denouncing infanticide and praying for children born after an abortion fails doesn’t fly in today’s Presbyterian church. The motion didn’t call for the Presbyterian church to stop supporting pro-abortion organizations, like Planned Parenthood, either — or is asking for an assessment of support given to both pro-life and pro-abortion organizations somehow too pro-life for them Presbyterian church, too?

Protecting children born after abortion, looking at the support given to pro-life and pro-abortion organizations, and giving pro-life Presbyterians a more equal voice in the church… these are the things that are apparently too abhorrent for PCUSA to accept.

It should also be made clear that this wasn’t a narrow victory. The margin of defeat for this motion was 465 – 133. It was a landslide, because for PCUSA, saying that what Kermit Gosnell did is horrific and wrong, and should never happen again, is evidently too much to ask. After all, it might upset their buddies in the abortion industry, which has plenty of Gosnells still practicing today.

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