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Anglican Church affirms its position on abortion

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7233
Date
1989 November 3
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1989 November 3
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
NEWS RELEASE
Friday November 3, 1989
12:00 noon [Toronto, Ont.]
In the light of the Government's announcement of a new Abortion Bill, the Anglican Church reaffirms its position that both the rights and needs of women, and the rights and needs of the unborn, require protection.
The Church welcomes a non-gestational approach. This accords with the Church's opposition to any arbitrary division which would make early abortion available on demand. The Church's fundamental position is that "abortion is always the taking of human life and, in our view, should never be done except for serious therapeutic reasons". However, the Church's Abortion report affirms that:
-an upper limit should be established at which "there is no reasonable prospect of viability"
- there should be a waiting period during which time counselling to women should be made available
- other alternatives to abortion explored including "social and financial supports to meet the needs of the woman, in housing accommodation, child care, employment, retraining, welfare benefits, and income support, as well as consideration of adoption of the baby expected."
The Church further affirms that there should be a conscience clause, so that "the conscientious right of health care personnel to refrain from participating in abortion procedures be guaranteed."
The Church also is "opposed in principle" to "anticipated genetic defect in the foetus as automatic grounds for abortion", because as Christians we are "called to be the voice of the voiceless and powerless (and) must speak out when those different from or less able than the norm are to be denied the full rights accorded their fellow humans".
The Church's Abortion Report also recommends legislation to "ban commercial transactions in human genetic material"; or any possibility of deliberate abortion for purposes of "foetal cell farming" for human transplants, and welcomes the recent announcement of a Royal Commission on reproductive techniques "as a vehicle to examine these concerns and develop legislative measures".
The Anglican Church sees abortion as a public justice issue, challenging Canadians to build a society that affirms human life, which values children and welcomes a new generation, and which provides legal and social protection for women caught in the trauma of problem pregnancies. Such extensive social legislation, to reduce conditions which make the choice of abortion more likely, would include:
- programs and education to combat violence against women
- more affordable housing
- pay equity for women
- a guaranteed annual income, and other financial measures
- universally accessible, publicly funded day care
- an intensified national program to collect child support payments from delinquent fathers
- better educational programs about sexuality and contraception in schools
The Church does not see abortion as simply a "woman's issue" but rather a community issue, which takes place on the battleground of women's bodies. Concerned that women are frequently forced to choose between marginalization and poverty or abortion, the Church believes that in many circumstances women are not "free" to choose to bear their children and so, because society fails to provide supportive structures, "abortion has become a means of `restructuring the woman' by emptying the womb". Many Canadian women who choose not to bear their child make their decision out of alienation and hopelessness. "True choice must involve alternatives to despair" the Report concludes.
Abortion In a New Perspective: Report of the Task Force on Abortion, is available from: The Anglican Book Centre, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2J6
For further information contact: The Reverend Michael Ingham, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, (416) 924-9192; Mrs. Diane Marshall (Family therapist, Report co-author) (416) 487-3613; Mrs. Phyllis Creighton (Research historian, Report co-author) (416) 978-2245
Subjects
Abortion - Law and legislation - Canada
Abortion - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Bioethics - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Disabled - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sexual ethics - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc. - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Reproductive technology - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Human embryo - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Human reproductive technology - Law and legislation - Canada
Human reproductive technology - Moral and ethical aspects
Medical ethics - Canada
Women's rights - Canada
Birth control - Canada
Birth control - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Contraception - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Poor women - Canada
Poverty - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Anglican Church responds to abortion legislation

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official9060
Date
1989 November 10
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1989 November 10
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
NEWS RELEASE
Friday November 10, 1989
1:00 pm [Toronto, Ont.]
The Anglican Church of Canada welcomes -- with some reservations -- the federal government's initiative in bringing forward legislation to regulate abortion in Canada. While there are important areas of concern which the Bill does not address, we would give cautious support to its provisions, as far as they go, and we express the hope that it will be open to amendment in the parliamentary process.
The Anglican Church is pleased the Bill is not based on a gestational approach, which devalues the unborn in the early stages of development. A non-gestational approach accords with the Church's opposition to any arbitrary division which would make early abortion available on demand. The Church's fundamental position is that "abortion is always the taking of a human life and, in our view, should never be done except for serious therapeutic reasons".
We think it right to try to establish a balance between the legitimate rights of women and the state's interest in the foetus.
We think it right to distinguish between contraception and abortion.
However, we question a number of matters in the legislation itself, and would raise some issues that are not included in the Bill; namely:
- we are dismayed that it includes criminal sanctions against women
- we question whether the measure will actually protect the foetus. The Bill allows its life to be taken if one physician agrees that a woman's physical, mental, or psychological health would be likely to be threatened if the pregnancy continues. The Anglican Church, in its resolutions, accepts abortion as a therapeutic measure where pregnancy endangers a woman's life or physical or mental health. But the language of "threat" provides not clear standard. Will a serious threat be required -- a balancing of rights -- or will a minor one do ? Neither the woman's rights not the foetal rights are clear.
- we would prefer the legislation to require a second and independent medical opinion
- we would prefer to see a mandatory waiting period during which counselling to women should be made available ensuring that alternatives to abortion can be explored, including social and financial supports to meet the needs of the woman, in housing accommodation, child care, employment, retraining, welfare benefits, and income support, as well as consideration of adoption of the baby expected.
- we regret there appears to be no provision for recording the reasons for which abortion is undertaken. How will legislators learn what needs to be done to remedy the conditions leading to abortion ?
- we regret there is no conscience clause protecting health care workers who do not wish to participate in abortion procedures
- we would prefer to see provisions in this, or some accompanying legislation, which would guarantee equitable access across the country to both abortion and counselling services
- we do not believe the legislation addresses the root causes of the number of abortions in Canada
Too often, women face the choice between abortion and poverty. If this is to be changed, and the number of abortions diminished, women need to be given realistic alternatives.
"True" choice will only be possible when there exists:
- adequate social and economic support structures to enable women to have their children
- programs and education to combat violence against women
- more affordable housing
- pay equity for women
- a guaranteed annual income, and other financial measures
- universally accessible, publicly funded day care
- an intensified national program to collect child support payments from delinquent fathers
- better educational programs about sexuality and contraception in schools
The Anglican Church wants to see the social context and the need for support for women to be taken seriously. This legislation puts all the responsibility on the woman herself, and on her physician. It does nothing to address the responsibility of the wider community towards children.
We urge that the Government bring in accompanying measures -- including budget commitments -- to provide the counselling, education, and preventative programs, and the social and economic supports -- such as housing assistance, day care, improved welfare benefits, and income supports -- that would ensure women have alternatives to abortion.
For these reasons we hope the legislation will be opened for amendment in the parliamentary process.
- END -
The policy of the Anglican Church of Canada on abortion is stated in:
"Abortion In a New Perspective": Report of the Task Force on Abortion and is available from: The Anglican Book Centre, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2J6
For further information contact: The Reverend Michael Ingham, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, (416) 924-9192; Mrs. Diane Marshall (Family therapist, Report co-author) (416) 487-3613; Mrs. Phyllis Creighton (Research historian, Report co-author) (416) 978-2245
Subjects
Abortion - Law and legislation - Canada
Abortion - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Bioethics - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sexual ethics - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Human embryo - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Medical ethics - Canada
Women's rights - Canada
Birth control - Canada
Birth control - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Contraception - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Poor women - Canada
Poverty - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Anglican Church Seeks Third Option in Abortion Debate: Neither Woman nor Foetus Should be Victim, Report Says

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1843
Date
1988 May 13
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press Release
Date
1988 May 13
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press Release
Text
For immediate release
Mississauga, May 13, 1988 -- The Anglican Church will today [EDITOR: Friday] attempt to define a third choice in the debate on therapeutic abortion.
A task force report to be delivered to the church's national executive council meeting here this afternoon, says: "Too often the abortion debate is couched in terms of a woman's right over her own body as against a foetus's right to life." It suggests the issue may be addressed from a new perspective in which neither the mother nor the foetus is required to serve as "victim."
"Christians hold a spectrum of personal views about the morality of abortion, from utter rejection of it to conviction that it is a personal ethical matter for a woman."
Either approach, the report suggests, is one-sided: either it ignores the cry of the unborn while trying to raise the status of women; or it remains indifferent to the plight of women while trying to protect the unborn.
The task force was convened in March to consider the Anglican Church's stance on abortion in light of the Supreme Court's decision in the Morgentaler case. That decision declared the provisions of the Criminal Code dealing with abortions to be unconstitutional. The church had previously expressed its support for the law.
The 15-page report recommends that the church continue to oppose unregulated access to abortion. The church, it says, sees abortion as "always a tragedy fraught with moral ambiguity...To resort to abortion lightly or casually is to degrade our humanity, to deny the responsibility and responsiveness of human nature."
SEEKING "TRUE" CHOICE
The report spends its greatest energy addressing the circumstances in which women "choose" abortion. In many cases, it says, the choice is hollow: When women choose to abort, it is frequently in coercive, lonely and grief-stricken circumstances where they feel completely unable to bear their child. Often the biggest problem facing the woman is her lack of a real social and economic support system. Many women who choose not to bear their children, then, make their decision out of alienation and hopelessness.
"For us as Christians, such despair cannot be left as the motive force...True choice must involve alternatives to despair."
The report says new legislation to regulate abortion should "establish procedures to make abortion available equitably across the country as a therapeutic measure for women whose pregnancies endanger their life or their physical or mental health." It says counselling should be required.
The report rejects the concept of legislating easy access to early abortion and more restricted access later in the term (after 12 weeks for example): "Abortion is always the taking of a human life and, in our view, should never be done except for serious therapeutic reasons. Any such line is arbitrary and seems to argue that the value of the foetus and the seriousness of abortion in the early stages will be discounted."
ABORTION OR POVERTY TOO OFTEN ONLY CHOICE
Noting that many women have a choice of aborting a foetus or bearing a child to live in poverty, the report urges an extensive program of social action to reduce conditions which make the choice of abortion more likely. It stresses the need for:
* more affordable housing;
* pay equity for women;
* a guaranteed annual income, and other financial measures "to secure the dignity -- indeed the survival -- of mothers and children;"
* universally accessible, publicly funded child care;
* an intensified national program to collect child support payments from delinquent fathers;
* better educational programs about sexuality, including contraception, in the schools;
* and other measures.
The council, which has been meeting since Wednesday, concludes late this afternoon.
- 30 -
For further information contact: Doug Tindal, Director of Communications, Anglican Church of Canada, (416) 924-9192 ext 286, (416) 335-8349 residence
Subjects
Abortion - Canada
Abortion - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sexual ethics - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Bioethics - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Women - Canada
Birth control - Canada
Birth control - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Contraception - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Poor women - Canada
Poverty - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Proceedings of A Symposium for Clergy and Physicians Counselling in Family Planning : April 20, 1966 : Toronto, Ontario

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/article30272
Author
Doerffer, F.R.
Feilding, Charles R. (Charles Rudolph), 1902-1978
Guttmacher, Alan
Hannah, W.J.
Hatfield, C. Bruce, 1926-
Howse, Ernest Marshall, 1902-1993
Kinch, Robert A.H.
Lefebvre, Yves
Mullen, W. Edgar
Paul, William
Poland, Betty
Robinson, S.C.
Roulston, T.M.
Scott, Edward W. (Edward Walter), 1919-2004
Wynn, John Charles
Wilkinson, Maurice P. (Maurice Pickard), 1920-2001
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Bulletin [Council for Social Service]
Date
1966 June
Author
Doerffer, F.R.
Feilding, Charles R. (Charles Rudolph), 1902-1978
Guttmacher, Alan
Hannah, W.J.
Hatfield, C. Bruce, 1926-
Howse, Ernest Marshall, 1902-1993
Kinch, Robert A.H.
Lefebvre, Yves
Mullen, W. Edgar
Paul, William
Poland, Betty
Robinson, S.C.
Roulston, T.M.
Scott, Edward W. (Edward Walter), 1919-2004
Wynn, John Charles
Wilkinson, Maurice P. (Maurice Pickard), 1920-2001
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Bulletin [Council for Social Service]
Date
1966 June
Issue
195
Page
1-88 p. : ill
Notes
"The medical and Christian community of Canada are much indebted to Ortho Pharmaceutical (Canada) Ltd. for providing the stimulus and opportunity for a first-class one-day symposium on all aspects of family planning. This Bulletin contains the papers and proceedings of that symposium and as any reader will quickly see, provides us all with an invaluable resource for family planning. It also presents us with a major responsibility to share these resources with those who need this counsel, and to share the responsibility of providing this information with the medical doctors in our community". -- Intro.
Contents: Introduction / Maurice P. Wilkinson -- To the Reader / W.R. Ballantyne -- Table of Contents -- Keynote Address / Alan Guttmacher -- What is and should be done re Training in Canadian Medical Schools / Robert Kinch -- What is and should be done re Training in Canadian Theological Colleges / C.R. Feilding -- The Role of the Individual Clergyman in Counselling for Family Planning / W. Edgar Mullen -- The Role of the Individual Physician in Counselling for Family Planning / C. Bruce Hatfield -- Question and Answer Period Moderated by E.M. Howse -- Physiology of Reproduction and the Rhythm System / Yves Lefebvre -- The Older Methods of Birth Control / Betty Poland -- The Oral Contraceptives in Family Planning / S.C. Robinson -- Intrauterine Contraception / F.R. Doerffer -- The Role of Surgical Procedures in Family Planning / W.J. Hannah -- Question and Answer Period Family Planning Moderated by William Paul -- The Moral Issue of Family Planning : A Theological View / John Charles Wynn -- The Moral Issue : A Medical View / T.M. Roulston -- Final Summing Up / E.W. Scott -- Advisory Committee for the Symposium.
Subjects
Birth control - Canada
Birth control - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Contraception - Canada
Contraception - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Pastoral counselling - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Responsible Parenthood

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official3507
Date
1967 August 22-31
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1967 August 22-31
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Bishop of Ottawa
Seconder
Rev. J.G. Lethbridge
Text
Whereas world Anglicanism speaking through the Lambeth Conference 1958 has given general approval to the practice of Family Planning within the concept of responsible freedom;
Whereas the 1964 Annual Meeting of the Department of Christian Social Service in joint session with the Executive Council of General Synod affirmed family planning within the context of the principles enunciated by the Lambeth Conference 1958 to be a responsible practice within the educational and pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church, and urged the amendment of Canadian legislation to legalize the dispensing of information and means for family planning in Canada;
Whereas the present law prevents Canada from playing a proper role in the United Nations and its agencies when questions of population and aid to family planning programs have come up; and
Whereas many developing countries are facing grave and growing problems by reason of uncontrolled population growth outstripping the capacity to produce sufficient food to sustain such populations resulting in widespread malnutrition and outright starvation,
This General Synod
1. Urges that every effort be made to amend present legislation in Canada in such a way as to make legal the dispensing of information and means under competent medical or other professional guidance, so as to enable spouses, irrespective of their economic circumstances, who wish to exercise their freedom in planning and spacing their families in accordance with their physical and economic means, to do so with adequate knowledge and instruction; and
2. Urges the Government of Canada to make support of planned parenthood available to those countries which seek assistance with programs of population control and planned parenthood, and specifically to those programs of this nature sponsored by the World Health Organization of the United Nations." CARRIED in both Houses.
Subjects
Birth control - Canada
Birth control - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Birth control - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
Contraception - Canada
Contraception - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Contraception - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
Population - Developing countries
Population - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Population - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
Lambeth Conference, 1958
Less detail