There are at least three important CRC synodical studies and statements on abortion, family planning, and life issues that may be helpful as we educate ourselves and become active in preventing abortions and nurturing life.
1. The CRC’s denominational position on abortion is summarized below:
"Because the CRC believes that all human beings are image-bearers of God, it affirms the unique value of all human life. Mindful of the sixth commandment—"You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13)—the church condemns the wanton or arbitrary destruction of any human being at any stage of its development from the point of conception to the point of death. The church affirms that an induced abortion is an allowable option only when the life of the mother-to-be is genuinely threatened by the continuation of the pregnancy.
The church calls believers to show Christian compassion and to offer support to those experiencing unwanted pregnancies as well as to those who have undergone abortions. Further, it calls believers to speak out against the atrocity of abortion, to promote action and legislation that reflect the teaching of Scripture regarding the sanctity of human life, and to reject all violence against those who perpetrate abortion."
For additional material and a list of synodical references go to: www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/position-statements/abortion
2. Like most Protestant churches, the CRC does not condemn birth control: Synod 2003 declared that a married couple's decision whether or not to use birth control is a private, disputable matter. The church urges married couples to consider the size of their families prayerfully and encourages them to be motivated by a desire to glorify God and further his kingdom in their family planning.
For more information: www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/position-statements/birth-control
- We must not recommend rules that bind the conscience in disputable matters. To do so would violate personal Christian liberty. Instead, we should prescribe only where God’s will is clear. Scripture is clear that every human being is created in the image of God and is precious to God.
- Procreation should be kept within the context of the male-female, two parent, covenantal relationship of marriage.
- Although it is fitting for married couples to want to have children, and it is a blessing to have children, there are limits to the lengths to which couples may go in order to have children. Infertility is a result of the fall, and we may attempt to reverse this but only through morally acceptable means.
- While Scripture does not explicitly teach what moral protection the unimplanted human embryo deserves, it is clear implicitly that as a unique human life it warrants significant human protection.
- Recognizing the horrific nature of rape and the complex circumstances facing a rape victim, she is not necessarily morally culpable if she takes a morning-after pill. The focus of ministry in such circumstances should be on the compassionate care for the woman.
Synod also encouraged members "to engage governmental agencies regarding the pursuit of policies" consistent with these guidelines.
There have been several excellent editorials and articles in our denominational magazine The Banner. One is a recent editorial from Rev. Bob DeMoor titled: Security for Whom.
A second piece by CRC pastor George Vander Weit asserts that the real CRC position on abortion may not be as clear as it seems.