Encouraging Life at Presbytery Meetings Print E-mail
Written by P.J. Southam, PPL Board of Directors   

SouthamDisplayWhen I first became a pastor, I took a large stack of Presbyterian Pro-Life’s newsletters to my presbytery meetings and left them out for others to take. Most of the time they were all picked up and I didn’t have to take any home with me. I was always heartened to see that.

After many years of hearing about Di Lupton's witness at her presbytery meetings with a display for PPL, and also of Martha Leatherman's witness at her presbytery, I decided to do more than I had been doing. Upon my request, the PPL office sent me a box of brochures, and Di Lupton emailed me two images as pdf files. Now, I just had to get to work! I am married to a talented artist, who actually assisted greatly in creating this display.

EPC states objection to HHS mandate to cover abortion Print E-mail

 At its June 2012 General Assembly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, The Evangelical Presbyterian Church affirmed a strong statement objecting to regulations recently put forth by the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS mandates issued February 15, 2012 (and effective August 1, 2012) require nearly all new health insurance plans to cover contraceptive methods including Plan B, and ella (abortifacient drugs). The EPC does not take a stand against "artificial means of contraception," but they do "profoundly object to abortion on demand." Their position paper on abortion is posted on the denomination website.

The EPC  "strongly and respectfully objects" to what it describes "government overreach and infringement of the Free Exercise Clause." The denomination calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to rescind the regulation. If they do not, then the EPC calls for the United States Congress to "take appropriate action to ensure the protection of religious liberty and rights of conscience."

220th GA Report: Part III - What actions were taken on abortion? Print E-mail

Daily Delivery PPL Newsletter at GACommissioners quickly disapproved two items with potential for turning the PC(USA) toward a more Biblically faithful stance on abortion.Item 20-02 asked the Board of Pensions to provide a Medical Benefits Plan that does not cover abortion. It was disapproved by a vote of 438 to 178 with 9 abstaining. Stubborn resistance to studying abortion from theological perspective

Commissioner Carl Batzel, from Lackawanna Presbytery, hoped for the PC(USA) to have a fresh start on abortion. He and Sydney Roosa from Plains and Peaks submitted a commissioner's resolution that sought a foundational paper on abortion and pregnancy based on Scripture and The Book of Confessions; a new Presbyterian Panel survey on crisis pregnancies and abortion; and a framework for advocacy that empowers the voice of the church in areas of essential unity but leaves to individual advocacy areas of division. The complete text of the CR can be found as Item 21-06 .

220th GA Report: Part IV - Advocacy for abortion access softened, but not averted Print E-mail

PPL booth shines a light on life in the wombItem 21-03 was adopted as it came out of committee. Commissioner, Rev. Justin Marple sought to amend the committee's recommendation to remove items 1-3, but at nearly 1:00 am commissioners seemed to hear only two things: 1) Health Issues committee "worked so hard to find balanced language even though they were deeply divided," and 2) the 1992 policy is "awesome" and commissioners wanted to affirm that. Unfortunately, the part of the 1992 policy that commissioners affirmed and re-stated in the amended Item 21-03 is the heart of the platform for legislative advocacy that has fueled one-sided pro-abortion advocacy for the last 20 years. It protects only the woman's decision to choose abortion and does nothing to protect life in the womb—also created in God's image and also a life for whom Christ died.

Commissioners in committee 21 heard testimony by a local Pittsburgh PC(USA) member who is the Executive Director of Women's Choice Network overseeing 5 pregnancy care centers in Pittsburgh. The original overture from Albany Presbytery sought to place restrictive requirements on pregnancy centers while liberating abortion clinics from restrictions and advocating for public funding for the latter.

220th GA Report: Part II - Late, late night abortion decisions Print E-mail

PPL Booth conversationThere was little doubt at this assembly that the definition of marriage and divestment in the Middle East upstaged other weighty matters at the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA). Ordination requirements, changes to mid-council structure, per capita, and rules about how business comes to the assembly received little attention in spite of their potential to bring major positive change to the denomination.

Discussion of abortion coverage in the Board of Pensions plan, advocacy for abortion access, and advocacy for government funding of abortion caused barely a ripple in the fabric of the Assembly. Actions taken by commissioners on those items of business were only covered by the briefest mention by one or two news sources.

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