In an effort to pursue common ground toward reducing the number of abortions in the United States, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), representing 40 denominations, scores of evangelical organizations and millions of American evangelicals, on Thursday announced a new initiative focusing on respecting sex and respecting life. The NAE Generation Forum will explore practical and realistic approaches to curtail the high abortion rate in this country. Particular focus will be placed on young adults since they, not teenagers, have the majority of abortions.
“America has an abortion problem,” said Leith Anderson, NAE president. “Yes, we are grateful that the abortion rate has declined. But, a million abortions in the United States every year is unacceptable. The NAE is engaging a fresh national dialogue seeking effective ways to significantly reduce the number of abortions.”
Polling indicates that most Americans would like to see fewer abortions. The NAE recently partnered with Gallup, Inc. to poll evangelicals on their views about abortion. Nearly nine out of every 10 evangelicals believe abortion is a serious problem in the United States and that it should be an important priority for the nation to work together to reduce the number of abortions. Significant majorities of the respondents indicated support for a wide range of possible methods for decreasing the abortion rate – from parental consent and waiting periods before abortions to efforts at making adoption, pre- and post-natal care, and contraceptive services more accessible.
In response to this survey and with the desire to make measurable progress in reducing abortions, the board of directors for the NAE adopted a resolution supporting constructive efforts toward decreasing the number of abortions in America.
The resolution reaffirms, “The NAE actively, ardently and unwaveringly opposes abortion on demand.” Then, noting the Bible’s call to civility and charity with our neighbors, the resolution continues, “The NAE is pleased that some longtime opponents in the debate over the legality of abortion have expressed interest in working together to dramatically reduce the incidence of abortion in the United States. Without compromising our core convictions, we seek honest conversation about ways to achieve this goal. These conversations should build on our shared concerns for human dignity, protecting children and promoting healthy families and communities.”
The NAE’s Generation Forum will host events across the country to create dialogue about how local churches can be involved in effectively decreasing the number of abortions in their congregations and communities.
“We do not wish to exalt a one-size-fits-all approach to abortion reduction,” states the NAE resolution. “Rather, we urge church leaders, always with a mind to honor God’s gifts of life and sex and his holy institutions of marriage and family, to seek out strategies appropriate for their congregations and communities.”
At an NAE forum on respecting sex and reducing abortions held today at Wheaton College, the NAE distributed a document titled, “Theology of Sex,” to help evangelicals understand and cherish human sexuality, build strong families, respect human dignity and celebrate the precious gift of life.
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