Mennonites Approve Dual Policy on Abortion

From Times Wire Services

Mennonite Church USA delegates approved a new policy that rejects most abortions as "counter to biblical principles" but discourages members from lobbying for laws to limit the practice.

The statement says that Mennonite tradition opposes "using the government to force others to comply with our Christian standards," and that laws would target women without regard to fathers and would disproportionately affect the poor.

The 118,000-member denomination says the fetus "in its earliest stages" shares humanity with the parents. It says abortion could be justified to save a mother's life, but not to end unwanted pregnancies, limit family size or destroy a fetus with a possible handicap.

"We stand in opposition to sacrifice of life in the womb, in the death chamber and through war in all its forms," the pacifist church said in its policy.

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