Denominational Beliefs on Abortion and the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

June 24, 2022

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, which confirmed a pregnant person’s constitutional right to choose whether to terminate during the early months of their pregnancy. The overturning of Roe v. Wade will have drastic negative impacts on individuals around the nation, with the greatest burden falling on low-income communities of color. While this decision does not make abortion illegal, it removes constitutional protection giving states the ability to issue bans.

This Supreme Court decision also runs counter to denominational beliefs. The 182nd General Assembly (1970) said, “the artificial or induced termination of a pregnancy is a matter of careful ethical decision of the patient … and therefore should not be restricted by law.” The 220th General Assembly (2012) affirmed, “no law should sanction any action intended to harm or harass those persons contemplating or deciding to have an abortion.” The PC(USA) constitution says “God alone is Lord of the conscience” and that God has endowed all humans with the moral agency to make choices. This is no less true for those making decisions about whether and when to have children.

We urge Presbyterians everywhere to affirm our denominational stance and tell the Biden administration to prioritize a reproductive justice agenda ASAP.

Watch a response from PC(USA) Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson II.

Read the full call to action from the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness.

Read a statement from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship about accompaniment and action in response to this ruling.