For Immediate Release Contact: Jerry Horn, 540-220-0095

January 21, 2003

Roe vs. Wade must go: A Primer on Theological Principles

Following is a primer on theological principles underlying religious support for the right to life of every human person, including the unborn. It was issued today by the National Pro-life Religious Council. As the 30th memorial of Roe v. Wade approaches, some religious organizations such as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice have obscured the differences between reverence for freedom and acquiescence to violence. Member groups of the NPRC, namely, Alpha Omega Life (Orthodox), CEC For Life (International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church), Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Lifewatch (Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality), Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Lutherans for Life International, National Clergy Council / Faith and Action, National Organization of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL), National Right to Life Committee, Inc., Presbyterians Pro-Life, Priests for Life, and United Church of Christ Friends for Life, desire to safeguard the fundamental Christian assertion of the right to life.

To correct the misinformation that is being circulated, the National Pro-life Religious Council offers this primer on Biblical and theological principles underlying religious support for the right to life.

God's dominion. Scripture teaches that all life belongs to God alone, who is Sovereign over the affairs of human beings. No human being, therefore, can own or dispose of any other human being, nor be the arbiter of when the other is born or dies. "None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own masterÖboth in life and death, we are the Lord's" (Romans 14:7-8)

Sanctity of Life. Scripture teaches that human beings are made in the image of God. As such, any notions that denigrate this profound truth are in direct contradiction to Godís own understanding of humanity. No more profound expression of Godís embrace of human existence can be found than in the Incarnation: Jesus Christ taking to himself humanity, from conception, to birth to maturity, to death.

Self-sacrifice. It is in the offering of Himself on the cross that the Son of God reveals the meaning of love: I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion sacrifices the other for the good of oneself, and is hence the opposite of Christian love.

Equality. Jesus Christ broke through the false barriers that separated Jews from Samaritans, lepers from the healthy, children from adults, wanted from unwanted. He taught the equal dignity of all. The barrier that divides born from unborn is likewise offensive to His teaching.

Justice. God saves the helpless, who cannot save themselves. This God of justice expects His people to do likewise, rescuing the orphan and the widow, and intervening to prevent bloodshed.

Hope. Abortion is essentially an act of despair. Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, from whom we can expect every good, opens the door to hope, which in turn enables us, despite our fears, to welcome new life into the world.

The National Pro-life Religious Council stands with all those who grieve over the destructive confusion that characterizes the language of pro-choice advocates and is particularly saddened when such obfuscation is offered under the banner of religious faith.

Rev. Fr. Frank Pavone is President of the National Pro-life Religious Council; Rev. Kirk van der Swaagh is Vice-President. Both may be reached for comment at the number listed above.