Evangelical Group Endorses Contraceptives
Special Report - June 4, 2010
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has published a resolution on abortion that explains the group’s new efforts to work together with “some longtime opponents in the debate over the legality of abortion . . . to dramatically reduce the incidence of abortion in the United States.” While restating the NAE’s pledge “to protect the sanctity of human life,” and calling the abortion of over one million children per year in the U.S. “unconscionable and unacceptable,” the resolution surprised many by endorsing the use of contraceptives, among “other family planning methods,” for couples who “are not willing to accept the responsibilities of parenting.”
The resolution continues, “Without compromising our core convictions, we seek honest conversation about ways to achieve this goal. These conversations should build on our shared concerns for human dignity, protecting children and promoting healthy families and communities.” It posits, “Any serious attempt to reduce the number of abortions must therefore come to terms with unplanned pregnancy, the pandemic of extramarital sex and the complex issues surrounding contraception and other family planning methods.” While encouraging couples to “educate themselves about ethical methods of family planning,” the resolution is quick to point out the church’s reluctance “to recommend contraception for unmarried sexual partners, given that it cannot condone extramarital sex.” Still, that reluctance is tempered by a recognition that, “it is even more tragic when unmarried individuals compound one sin by conceiving and then destroying the precious gift of life.”
"This is a disturbing development," said Bill Brooks, President of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. "We have argued for years that the government should teach 'abstinence from sex until marriage, and until recently this has been the national and state model. When the abstinence message is properly taught, the results are remarkable. Conversely, contraceptive sex education results in more sex, more pregnancies, and has been shown to be a failed strategy."
A May 20th press release announced the NAE’s new initiative, Generation Forum, to promote respect for sex and life. According to the press release, “Generation Forum will host events across the country to create dialogue about how local churches can be involved in effectively decreasing the number of abortions in their congregations and communities.” It references a recent Gallup, Inc. poll, conducted for the NAE, which found that, “nearly 9 out of every 10 evangelicals believe abortion is a serious problem in our country and that it should be an important priority for our nation to work together too reduce the number of abortions.” Additionally, the poll found “significant majorities” of evangelicals support “a wide range of possible methods for decreasing the abortion ratefrom parental consent and waiting periods before abortions to efforts at making adoption, pre- and post-natal care, and contraceptive services more accessible.”
LifeSiteNews.com asked Aaron Mercer, project director for Generation Forum, “whether the NAE felt that advocating contraceptives could drive a wedge between the pro-life efforts of evangelicals and the Catholic Church, whose teachings reject contraception as part of the modern-day attack on the family.” According to LifeSiteNews.com, Mercer responded that the issue was “a subject that needs more exploration.”
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