What is the United Methodist position on abortion?
The official United Methodist statements related to abortion include:
- Ministry to Those Who Have Experienced an Abortion
- Gender-Selective Abortion
- Healing of Post-Abortion Stress
- Responsible Parenthood
- Support for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (membership withdrawn per direction of the 2016 General Conference)
Organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) receive no denominational funding.
It’s important to note that the Church's statements on social issues, such as abortion, represent the effort of the General Conference to speak to human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation. They are intended to be instructive and persuasive, but they are not church law and are not binding on members. Members will hold differing views on abortion. There is no requirement for members to agree with the Church’s view.
As Rev. Thomas E. Frank, professor at Wake Forest University, said, the church “asks all United Methodists to consider these positions and accept them as the collective wisdom of the church, but it does not expect all United Methodists to agree with all such statements.” (Source: Polity, Practice, and the Mission of The United Methodist Church by Thomas Edward Frank)
The Book of Resolutions also says, “You may find that your denomination's policies give you more "food for thought." Maybe you will agree with the denomination's position. On the other hand, you may disagree. Either is all right. At the least, you know your church cares and wants you to be a knowledgeable and caring Christian about the issues of the day.”