The Western Methodist Justice Movement (WMJM), an unofficial caucus group within the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church (UMC), is calling on its members to attend the Health Committee of the Los Angeles City Council hearing to help “put CPCs [Crisis Pregnancy Centers] on the defense.”
The LA City Council hearing on January 23 will investigate faith-based CPC’s alleged “false advertising,” oddly the day after Roe v. Wade’s 44th anniversary and the same week as the annual March for Life, the world’s largest pro-life rally.
The WMJM accuses CPCs of a “devious approach” and hopes Los Angeles will take steps “to hold CPCs accountable for lying to women,” but the newsletter fails to outline exactly what they believe to be “false advertising.” However, NARAL Pro-Choice California State Director Amy Everitt alleges in a statement that “CPCs target women seeking abortion care with false advertising that misleads women into thinking they are comprehensive women’s health facilities.”
As anyone actually familiar with the compassionate, life-saving work of CPCs can tell you, the non-profit pregnancy resource centers prioritize providing accurate information to women about their options during unexpected pregnancies and typically list out all the services offered, including referrals for medical aid. The Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center in Washington, DC, for example, offers services to women including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, confidential counseling, parenting classes, maternity and baby clothing and supplies, post-abortion peer support, Bible studies, and medical, legal, adoption, and housing referrals. All of these services are free of charge.
As an unofficial caucus group, the WMJM is not the church nor is it an official body within the UMC. In fact, since 2008 the UMC has officially called on United Methodists to support CPCs in compassionately helping women find feasible alternatives to abortion. An attempt by the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) to delete this denominational position failed in 2012. The UMC’s official Social Principles’ sub-section on CPCs on CPCs now reads:
The Church and its local congregations and campus ministries should be in the forefront of supporting existing ministries and developing new ministries that help such women in their communities. They should also support those crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women explore all options related to unplanned pregnancy. We particularly encourage the Church, the government, and social service agencies to support and facilitate the option of adoption. We affirm and encourage the Church to assist the ministry of crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women find feasible alternatives to abortion.
John Lomperis, the Institute on Religion & Democracy’s United Methodist Director, commented:
Ever year, millions of children around the world are needlessly killed by abortion violence, and countless scars and brokenness left in abortion’s wake. The pro-women, pro-life social service non-profits known as crisis pregnancy centers, many of which are explicitly ministries motivated by love for our triune God and ALL those created in His image, are on the front lines of compassionately walking with and supporting women and children in need. Why would any professedly Christian organization devote its energies to furiously attacking, demonizing, and trying to undermine such life-saving works of justice and mercy?
For WMJM members who can attend the hearing, the caucus group will send talking points and help prepare speeches. But for members shy of public speaking, WMJM says “you can just attend to help show visible support.” It will be surprising if more than 15 Methodists (likely none under 30 years old) show up to the hearing on behalf of WMJM.Google+