When New York State passed a law affirming abortion up to the day of delivery, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said nothing, even though the ELCA's abortion statement speaks against late-term abortion. But now that some conservative states have passed restrictive abortion laws, Eaton has decided to speak (see letter below). She reminds us that "...we must remember that this church supports ongoing access to legal abortion as well as access to abortion services and reproductive health care that is not restricted by economic factors."
The ELCA'a 1990 abortion statement is a confused document. On one page it sounds pro-life, the next page sounds pro-choice. In a nutshell, the ELCA statement opposes abortion except in the cases of "clear threat to the life of the woman", "extreme fetal abnormality" incompatible with life, and in cases of rape and incest. Beyond these cases "this church neither supports nor opposes" other abortion-restricting legislation.
At the ELCA's 1997 assembly, some of us offered a resolution to restrict ELCA funding of abortion to the three cases stated above. The resolution was rejected 70% to 30%. The upshot is that the ELCA continues to pay for abortion for any reason (and no reason) in the church's health care plan for pastors which is funded by offering dollars. That's right, your offering dollars at work, killing unborn children for any reason in the ELCA.
Eaton's statement of the ELCA's support for abortion access makes it tragically clear that some secular states are more Christian than the ELCA in their desire to defend unborn human life.
If you are still in the ELCA, this is one more reason to take your money, time and talents and join a denomination which celebrates God's gift of life and which will not kill unborn children with your offering dollars.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Letter on abortion from Bishop Eaton (see here)