Policy / Oppose Abortion Tourism

Oppose Abortion Tourism

abortion tourism

Southern Baptists affirm that every life is worthy of protection, beginning with the preborn. Life begins at conception, and abortion denies precious human lives both personhood and protection (Jer. 1:5; Psa. 139:13). 

Southern Baptists affirm that every human is created in the image of God. As stated in a 2022 resolution of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Bible clearly and unequivocally affirms “the preborn child is a person, bearing the image of God, from the moment of conception” (Gen. 1:27; 9:6), regardless of age, level of ability, or stage of development. Additionally, the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 affirms that “children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord” and calls us to “speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.”

abortion tourism
abortion tourism

Since the Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, states around the nation have implemented a variety of restrictions or prohibitions on abortion. In response to restrictions passed by some states, other states such as New York and California have become abortion destinations, inviting women to travel across state lines for the sole purpose of obtaining an abortion. Some states, such as New Mexico and New Jersey, have appropriated additional funds within state budgets to accommodate increased abortion-related travel, and other states have discussed funding abortion-related travel directly.

The federal government has increasingly become ingrained in the abortion industry through work by the Biden administration to provide access to abortion and circumvent state law. Currently, federal appropriations bills contain annual provisions prohibiting federal funding of abortion through appropriations riders, including Weldon (discrimination protections for healthcare entities with objections to abortion), Dornan (Hyde protections in the District of Columbia), Helms (protection against international aid funds being used for abortion), Siljander (protection against funds being used to lobby for abortion internationally), and Kamp-Kasten (protection against funds to organizations that support coercive abortion or sterilization). To circumvent these riders, the Biden administration has expanded protections for access to abortion through abortion-related travel in federal rulemaking; for example, the ERLC submitted public comments in response to a federal rule that would allow the Office of Refugee Resettlement to transport minors for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.

The ERLC rejects any attempts to weaken or remove barriers to abortion and will always advocate against any government funding of abortion and abortion-related travel. It is vital that concrete action continues to be taken to limit abortion and prohibit misuse of federal funding.

SBC Actions

Southern Baptists spoke to abortion at the 2022 annual meeting through the Resolution On Anticipation of a Historic Moment in the Pro-life Movement and in 2021 through the Resolution on Taxpayer Complicity in Abortion and the Hyde Amendment.

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