The United Methodist Church's top legislative body, the General Conference, came together for its 2012 gathering in Tampa, FL from April 24th to May 4th. The General Conference, which draws hundreds of delegates from around the globe, meets every four years to discuss church policy and make revisions to the Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions. Several anti-abortion activists are angry that the United Methodist Church policy still does not condemn abortion outright, and that the church continues to ally with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
- Lifesite News reports that After the 2012 United Methodist Church General Conference, Lifewatch president Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth was unhappy with the church's continuing stance on reproductive rights. In a May 14th statement posted at Christian Newswire, Stallsworth lamented that delegates did not have the opportunity to deliberate on abortion at the conference, baffled that the gathering found time to wrestle with the issue of homosexuality. (For more information on Lifewatch, visit www[dot]lifewatch[dot]org)
- In a June 6th post at the Bound 4 Life blog, Susan Michelle Tyrrell accuses the United Methodist Church of adopting an abortion stance that is incompatible with the Bible and the Declaration of Independence. She lambastes the United Methodist Church for supporting the "abhorrent" Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Tyrrell criticizes the United Methodist Church's abortion stance because "the abortion ideology is fueled by the pit of hell and the demonic powers and principalities itself." (See bound4life[dot]com/blog/2012/06/06/united-methodist-church-pro-abortion-ideology-might-have-aborted-jesus/)
- In a May 22nd blog post, Jill Stanek praises anti-abortion activist Todd Bullis, who argued against abortion at the Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano, TX. Stanek spoke approvingly of Bullis' attempts to "educate" Methodists about abortion through the use of graphic abortion pictures. (See www[dot]jillstanek[dot]com/2012/05/abortion-pictures-rile-members-of-pro-choice-church/)
To Religious Right anti-abortion voices, Christianity and an anti-abortion stance are inseparable. The idea that a major Christian church would not share their anti-abortion views has left several Religious Right activists steamed. Fortunately, denominations such as the United Methodists prefer a more nuanced approach to the issue, rather than a hard-line position that ignores the realities of unintended pregnancies.