The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA on the record about abortion

In a discussion of genetics, there are places that conversation about abortion becomes relevant.

As scientists, politicians and others weigh in on embryonic stem cell research, opinions on abortion often enter the dialogue. Also, would-be parents may find themselves in a position to consider abortion after certain results in fetal genetic testing.

The 1991 Churchwide Assembly adopted a social statement on abortion, parts of which are excerpted below. See www.elca.org/socialstatements/abortion/ or call the Division for Church in Society at (800) 638-3522, Ext. 2710, for the full statement.

• "Human life in all phases of its development is God-given and, therefore, has intrinsic value, worth and dignity. Guided by God's Law, which orders and preserves life, human beings are called to respect and care for the life that God gives."

• "The strong Christian presumption is to preserve and protect life. Abortion ought to be an option only of last resort."

• "There are circumstances of extreme fetal abnormality, which will result in severe suffering and very early death of an infant. In such cases, after competent medical consultations, the parent(s) may responsibly choose to terminate the pregnancy. Whether they choose to continue or to end such pregnancies, this church supports the parent(s) with compassion, recognizing the struggle involved in the decision."


Sharon Weeaks

Sharon Weeaks

Posted at 5:05 pm (U.S. Eastern) 1/1/2008

I am a nurse practitioner and have been a Lutheran longer than I have been a nurse practitioner.  I have cared for many patients over the past 25 plus years.  I have strongly encouraged birth control if not abstinence but have also been a strong advocate of abortion if necessary.   I once had a psychiatic inpatient (12 years old) who was pregnant  with twins.  She declined the therapeutic abortion offered and I have wondered for the past 20 years what happeded to those two babies.  This patient and her mother had decided that they would raise them.  I have worried that these twins might well end up in the state mental heath system as did their mother. 

I remain an advocate of abortion when I read/hear of children who are unwanted and subsequently abused or killed by a parent.  I really don't have an answer.  I will  be happy to read any thoughts that other Lutherans have on the matter.


Sharon  Weeaks 



John Webb

John Webb

Posted at 3:35 am (U.S. Eastern) 1/22/2010

Therapeutic abortion? Killing twin babies is therapeutic to whom? Just because you can't see them, and someone does not want them does not mean they are not living human beings. They have 10 fingers and 10 toes and a beating heart just like you do. Should we kill everyone else that has a possibility of ending up in the state mental health system? 

Parents who abuse and subsequently kill an unwanted child are guilty of muder, the same as if they shot their grandmother in the head. What since does it make to kill unborn children for the purpose of preventing their parents from hurting them? Should we go ahead an kill all of the old people so they won't have to suffer in nursing homes when their children forget they are there? Wouldn't it have been best for the earthquake in Haiti to kill everyone in the country so they could be put out of their misery of crime and starvation?

 There is nothing Lutheran or Christian about killing a baby. 

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