The Episcopal Church has a clear record in its teaching about abortion. It is nuanced but hardly confusing. The record names circumstances in which terminating pregnancy is an acceptable choice within the tradition but makes pastoral provision for other circumstances also. Our Church specifically treats all life as sacred but argues that limiting access to abortion is wrong. Details of our record are here, and they are worth reading.
Let us be clear that today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade puts women at risk. The ruling makes possible, even likely, that the actions of women, whether taken out of necessity or in good conscience, will be criminalized. Counsellors and allies are by extension also at risk. So are the Churches and other religious bodies who support them.
But most of all it is the women.
The Episcopal Church casts its lot with the whole of human life, with no exceptions. (Gal. 3:28) We say as much at our baptism. We are still learning the disciplines for such a life, and we often fall short of our best ideals. We remain committed to it nonetheless. For the sake of Jesus who has come to us as one of us, the life and dignity of every human being matter.
The life and dignity of women matter.
George Wayne Smith
Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio
Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist