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By Gerry Hills, Chair of Church & Society, and Billie K. Fidlin, Director of Justice & Outreach

This week an initial draft majority ruling was leaked from the Supreme Court. Documents are historically not leaked, so this is of great concern regarding the integrity of the Court, and an investigation has been launched.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has verified the draft is legitimate – and has emphasized, it is a draft commenting on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case (Mississippi) and is the basis for overturning Roe v. Wade (1973).

One of our principles as United Methodists is civil & human rights. We know from Scripture that we are all made in God’s image and that Jesus was concerned about people’s physical, mental and emotional health as well as their spiritual beliefs.

We urge our congregations to be compassionate to all people regardless of our differences, to engage in ministries that focus on women, children, and families, and to advocate for women and for life-saving health care around the world.

From the United Methodist perspective:

We affirm the right of men and women to have access to comprehensive reproductive health/family planning information and services. ~ United Methodist Social Principles, ¶162.V

“Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.” (Social Principles, ¶161.K)

“We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases, we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers. We support parental, guardian or other responsible adult notification and consent before abortions can be performed on girls who have not yet reached the age of legal adulthood. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection or eugenics.” (Social Principles, ¶161.K)

Among issues included in our nation’s debate: when does a life begin, women’s healthcare and access to same, the society/state’s lack of resources to help families regarding food, shelter, basic necessities which become more burdensome as families grow, and of course a woman’s right to her own body and all related decisions.

There is a partial post from social media by Dr. Eliz Markowitz of Texas that may help with understanding:

I’m pro-Becky who found out at her 20-week anatomy scan that the infant she had been so excited to bring into this world had developed without life-sustaining organs.

I’m pro-Susan who was sexually assaulted on her way home from work, only to come to the horrific realization that her assailant planted his seed in her when she got a positive pregnancy test result a month later.

I’m pro-Theresa who hemorrhaged due to a placental abruption, causing her parents, spouse, and children to have to make the impossible decision on whether to save her or her unborn child.

I’m pro-little Cathy who had her innocence ripped away from her by someone she should have been able to trust and her 11-year-old body isn’t mature enough to bear the consequence of that betrayal.

I’m pro-Melissa who’s working two jobs just to make ends meet and has to choose between bringing another child into poverty or feeding the children she already has because her spouse walked out on her.

I’m pro-Brittany who realizes that she is in no way financially, emotionally, or physically able to raise a child.

I’m pro-Emily who went through IVF, ending up with SIX viable implanted eggs requiring selective reduction in order to ensure the safety of her and a SAFE amount of fetuses.

I’m pro-Christina who doesn’t want to be a mother, but birth control methods sometimes fail.

I’m pro-Jessica who is FINALLY getting the strength to get away from her physically abusive spouse only to find out that she is carrying the monster’s child.

I’m pro-Vanessa who went into her confirmation appointment after YEARS of trying to conceive only to hear silence where there should be a heartbeat.

I’m pro-Lindsay who lost her virginity in her sophomore year with a broken condom and now has to choose whether to be a teenage mom or just a teenager.

I’m pro-Courtney who just found out she’s already 13 weeks along, but the egg never made it out of her fallopian tube so either she terminates the pregnancy or risks dying from internal bleeding.

Dr. Markowitz wrote this in response to Texas legislative action.

https://twitter.com/elizmarkowitz/status/1395840749745364999

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/leaked-us-supreme-court-decision-suggests-majority-set-overturn-roe-v-wade-2022-05-03/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/03/supreme-court-might-never-recover-overturning-roe-v-wade/

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/05/04/us/roe-v-wade-supreme-court-abortion

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