4) The Church does not serve
as conscience for individuals; however, it should provide moral guidance. Abortions
for reasons of birth control, gender selection, or convenience are not
condoned by the Church. Women, at times however, may face exceptional
circumstances that present serious moral or medical dilemmas, such as
significant threats to the pregnant woman's life, serious jeopardy to
her health, severe congenital defects carefully diagnosed in the fetus,
and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. The final decision whether
to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman
after appropriate consultation. She should be aided in her decision
by accurate information, biblical principles, and the guidance of the
Holy Spirit. Moreover, these decisions are best made within the context
of healthy family relationships.
5) Christians acknowledge
as first and foremost their accountability to God. They seek balance
between the exercise of individual liberty and their accountability to
the faith community and the larger society and its laws. They make their
choices according to scripture and the laws of God rather than the norms
of society. Therefore, any attempts to coerce women either to remain
pregnant or to terminate pregnancy should be rejected as infringements
of personal freedom.
6) Church institutions should
be provided with guidelines for developing their own institutional policies
in harmony with this statement. Persons having a religious or ethical
objection to abortion should not be required to participate in the performance
7) Church members should be
encouraged to participate in the ongoing consideration of their moral
responsibilities with regard to abortion in light of the teaching of
for a Christian View of Life
"Now this is eternal life;
that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you
have sent" (John 17:3, NIV). In Christ is the promise of
eternal life; but since human life is mortal, humans are confronted with
difficult issues regarding life and death. The following principles
refer to the whole person (body, soul, and spirit), an indivisible whole
(Genesis 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Life: Our valuable gift from God
1) God is the Source, Giver,
and Sustainer of all life (Acts 17:25,28; Job 33:4; Genesis 1:30, 2:7;
Psalm 36:9; John 1:3,4).
2) Human life has unique value
because human beings, though fallen, are created in the image of God
(Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 3:2; John 1:29; 1 Peter
3) God values human life not
on the basis of human accomplishments or contributions but because we
are God's creation and the object of His redeeming love (Romans 5:6,8;
Ephesians 2:2-6; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 3:4,5; Matthew 5:43-48; Ephesians
2:4-9; John 1:3, 10:10).
Life: Our response to God's gift
4) Valuable as it is, human
life is not the only or ultimate concern. Self-sacrifice in devotion
to God and His principles may take precedence over life itself (Revelation
12:11; 1 Corinthians 13).
5) God calls for the protection
of human life and holds humanity accountable for its destruction (Exodus
20:13; Revelation 21:8; Exodus 23:7; Deuteronomy 24:16; Proverbs 6:16,17;
Jeremiah 7:3-34; Micah 6:7; Genesis 9:5,6).
6) God is especially concerned
for the protection of the weak, the defenseless, and the oppressed (Psalm
82:3,4; James 1:27; Micah 6:8; Acts 20:35; Proverbs 24:11,12; Luke 1:52-54).
7) Christian love (agape) is
the costly dedication of our lives to enhancing the lives of others. Love
also respects personal dignity and does not condone the oppression of
one person to support the abusive behavior of another (Matthew 16:21;
Philippians 2:1-11; 1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-11; Matthew 22:39; John 18:22,23;
8) The believing community
is called to demonstrate Christian love in tangible, practical, and substantive
ways. God calls us to restore gently the broken (Galatians 6:1,2; 1
John 3:17,18; Matthew 1:23; Philippians 2:1-11; John 8:2-11; Romans 8:1-14;
Matthew 7:1,2, 12:20; Isaiah 40:42, 62:2-4).
Life: Our right and responsibility to decide
9) God gives humanity the
freedom of choice, even if it leads to abuse and tragic consequences. His
unwillingness to coerce human obedience necessitated the sacrifice of
His Son. He requires us to use His gifts in accordance with His will
and ultimately will judge their misuse (Deuteronomy 30:19,20; Genesis
3; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 3:5,6, 6:1,2; Galatians 5:13).
10) God calls each of us individually
to moral decision making and to search the scriptures for the biblical
principles underlying such choices (John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 2:9;
11) Decisions about human life
from its beginning to its end are best made within the context of healthy
family relationships with the support of the faith community (Exodus
20:12; Ephesians 5,6).
12) Human decisions should
always be centered in seeking the will of God (Romans 12:2; Ephesians
6:6; Luke 22:42).
*Abortion, as understood in
these guidelines, is defined as any action aimed at the termination of
a pregnancy already established. This is distinguished from contraception,
which is intended to prevent a pregnancy. The focus of the document
is on abortion.
**The fundamental perspective
of these guidelines is taken from a broad study of scripture as shown
in the "Principles for a Christian View of Human Life" included
at the end of this document.
These guidelines were approved
and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive
Committee at the Annual Council session in Silver Spring, Maryland,
October 12, 1992.