Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
March 4, 2016
Contact: Jeff Walton office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org
Washington, DC–Religious groups weighed in prior to this week’s U.S. Supreme Court hearing about the provisions of a 2013 Texas law regulating health and safety requirements for abortion clinics. Mainline Protestant clergy were among them.
One amicus brief submitted to the court argues that “Reasonable access to abortion is essential for women to be equal participants in society” and includes the story of Anne Fowler, an Episcopal priest who sought and obtained an abortion after enrolling in Divinity School.
The brief seeks to counter a growing movement of post-abortive women, such as the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, who are speaking publicly about hurt and regret they have faced due to undergoing abortions, and the healing and restoration they later found.
IRD Anglican Program Director Jeff Walton commented:
“Whenever an activist Episcopal priest shows up in the news, as a general rule, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a dead or dying congregation.
“Fowler is representative of what happens in Episcopal parishes when personal autonomy becomes an idol commanding our affirmation. The Gospel is abandoned and the flock diminishes, leaving behind a decimated parish.
“In Fowler’s case, the Massachusetts parish she led from 1992-2013 lost nearly half of its membership and attendance.
“The church’s role is to provide healing and support for women facing unplanned pregnancy or post-abortive trauma, not a veneer of religious approval for abortion-on-demand.
“Protestant denominations embracing unrestricted abortion as an unalloyed social good are not acting in accord with the church’s biblical and historic teachings about the sanctity of human life. No wonder once-thriving groups like the Episcopal Church are now locked into demographic decline and empty pews.”Google+