THE WESLEYAN CHURCH
WESLEYAN PRO-LIFE TASK FORCE
POSITION PAPER ON
ACTIVITY IN OPPOSITION TO ABORTION
The Wesleyan Church takes a strong pro-life position on the issue of abortion. The Discipline of The Wesleyan
Church sets forth the following statement in its section of "Special Directions":
Abortion. The Wesleyan Church seeks to recognize and preserve the sanctity of human life from conception to
natural death and, thus, is opposed to the use of induced abortion. However, it recognizes that there may be rare
pregnancies where there are grave medical conditions threatening the life of the mother, which could raise a serious
question about taking the life of the unborn child. In such a case, a decision should be made only after very' prayerful
consideration following medical and spiritual counseling. The Wesleyan Church encourages its members to become
informed about the abortion issue and to become actively involved locally and nationally in the preparation and
passage of appropriate legislation guaranteeing protection of life under law to unborn children.
Wesleyans for Life endorses the action priorities of this statement and encourages Wesleyans to become involved in
the most productive means of promoting the pro-life cause: 1) evangelism and discipleship, to root out the disease of
which abortion is a symptom; 2) public education concerning abortion; and 3) promoting legislation to bring about
legal protection for the unborn (including support by Wesleyan individuals for candidates who will enact pro-life
Some members of The Wesleyan Church have chosen to participate in activities deemed illegal by courts, such as
trespassing at abortion clinics to blockade entries, in an effort to shut down an abortion clinic for a period of time. The
Wesleyan Church has recognized such activity as a matter of individual conscience. The following are the convictions
of the Board of General Superintendents and the Task Force on Public Morals and Social Concerns:
1. Only non-violent responses to abortion may be commended.
2. Acceptable non-violent responses may be seeking legislative change, peaceful picketing or even "sit-ins" at
3. We believe these responses to be legitimate for Christians, in general, and Wesleyans, in particular, in the
effort to defeat legalized abortion-on-demand.
4. Wesleyans should be prepared for the consequences which follow these responses in a morally insensitive
5. The Wesleyan Church pledges to be equally supportive to those who by conscience feel restricted to
6. All Wesleyans raise the prayer to God that He will restore to us in this generation a social righteousness
which commends His blessings upon our nations and our posterity.
However, individuals choosing to engage in such activity are advised to do so as individuals. They must not involve
their churches in any way because organizations cannot engage in illegal activity without facing the possibility of
severe legal penalties. It is vital that organizations not be hampered by protracted and expensive litigation that would
serve to distract them from their primary purpose.
Wesleyans for Life feels strongly about the need to rescue the unborn from death. However, Wesleyans for Life
believes that the most effective long-term rescue is through changing hearts which results in changing attitudes and
Wesleyans for Life encourages those feeling the need to make a public witness of their opposition to abortion to do
so by activities such as picketing and sidewalk counseling outside abortion clinics, which are wholly within the
constitutional free speech rights of all Americans.
Wesleyans for Life strongly encourages individual Wesleyans to become involved in the mainstream pro-life
organizations which are engaged in public education, lobbying, and political action and to support crisis pregnancy
centers which help women choose alternatives to abortion.
Written by Mr. Richard Coleson, Attorney-at-law, a member of the Wesleyan Pro-Life Task Force.
This paper was approved by the Task Force on Public Morals and Social Concerns, The Wesleyan Church. May