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Part IV of the SSOA “recognizes that there can be sound reasons for ending a pregnancy through induced abortion,” and if a mother’s life is threatened, abortion is a “morally responsible” choice. Gianna Beretta Molla would disagree.) Obviously, the ELCA has never heard of how the moral principle of double effect in these situations.Nor have they heard of the Dublin Declaration, which has been affirmed by over 900 medical professionals worldwide (with over 2,000 signatories expected in 2015) and states: “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.The SSOA also recommends abortion in “circumstances of extreme fetal abnormality, which will result in severe suffering and very early death of an infant.In such cases, after competent medical consultations, the parent(s) may responsibly choose to terminate the pregnancy.” Sadly, it seems the ELCA is unaware of ministries such as Be Not Afraid, or of perinatal hospice programs, all of which show how babies with terminal diagnoses can be loved and cared for, and treated with respect and dignity, no matter how long or short their lives. Does human life lose its intrinsic worth, dignity, and value once suffering is involved?Shortly thereafter I accessed online the ELCA’s Social Statement on Abortion (SSOA), and as I read it my faith in the ELCA was shaken to the core.The first statement that bowled me over was, “A developing life in the womb does not have an absolute right to be born…” Incredibly, this statement is followed, mere paragraphs later, by the assertion that, “Human life in all phases of its development is God-given and, therefore, has intrinsic value, worth, and dignity.Until I had learned of that same decision, I had assumed that the Lutheran Church was opposed to abortion; after all, how could anyone who claimed to follow Jesus Christ support the killing of unborn children?Wasn’t “Thou shall not kill” a pretty essential element of Christianity?
What degree of suffering invokes this responsibility—what about babies with Down Syndrome, a condition very rarely incompatible with life, over 90% of whom are aborted?He said, “My real disaffection with the ELCA didn’t start with sex.