Calendar Item 799

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The Petition is amended as follows:
Petition 81063  
Amend 161J as follows:
  J) Abortion-The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born. Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion.  
But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy.
In continuity with past Christian teachings
, We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures. We support requirements for parental, guardian, or other responsible adult notification and consent before abortions can be performed on girls who have not yet reached the age of legal adulthood.  We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection.  
We oppose the use of late-term abortion known as dilation and extraction (partial-birth abortion) and call for the end of this practice except when the physical life of the mother is in danger and no other medical procedure is available, or in the case of severe fetal anomalies incompatible with life.  Before providing their services, abortion providers should be required to offer women the option of anesthesia.
We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may cause warrant them to consider abortion.  
The church shall offer ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies.  We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth.  
We particularly encourage the Church, the government, and social service agencies to support and facilitate the option of adoption. We affirm and encourage the Church to assist the ministry of crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women find feasible alternatives to abortion.
Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience. Therefore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, family, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel.



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