Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Watch


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United Methodist Agency Member Organizations

Organizations may be endorsing members or, if they wish to participate in the governance of the Religious Coalition, full members. Organizations participate in the Religious Coalition through designated representatives, who comprise the Coalition Council.The Religious Coalition.

The Religious Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan education and advocacy organization of religious and religiously affiliated groups working together to preserve the individual’s right to reproductive choice, free from government interference or coercion, and religious freedom for all Americans.

While theologically diverse, Religious Coalition members are unified in their commitment to safeguarding reproductive choice as an element of religious liberty and appreciate the opportunity to consult and work together on issues of common interest.

Coalition membership does not require or imply conformity to all the actions and initiatives of the Coalition. Each denomination and group is free to express its own opinions and beliefs on any topic. However, the member groups appreciate and support the value of working together for shared values of justice, tolerance, and religious freedom.

For information on organizational membership, please contact

United Methodist Church
General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church
General Board of Global Ministries, Women’s Division, United Methodist Church


(11/02/12) "In 1973, Roe V. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case, ruled that a woman’s reproductive decisions are a matter of personal privacy, protected by the constitution. This decision was built upon a series of earlier cases that affirmed non-procreative sexual relations to be equally valid and sacred expressions of human sexuality. Subsequently, if sex serves purposes beyond reproduction, then a woman has the legal right to both prevent and interrupt a pregnancy."

Source: "Access to Abortion Care," Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Accessed 10/29/13.

(10/02/12) "As I begin my new duties as President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), I am trying to keep Deuteronomy 16:20 constantly before me. It seems a good practice, not only spiritually and personally, but also because RCRC recently adopted a policy that calls for all of its future programming to be carried out within a framework of 'reproductive justice.'”

Source: "A call to reproductive justice," by Rev. Harry Knox, CEO of RCRC, 9/18/12, accessed 9/25/12

(08/07/12) The new 2012 Social Principles paragraph on abortion is available to read on the "We Affirm" thread of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) website.

Source: RCRC website thread, "We Affirm." Scroll down to "United Methodist Church, 2012."  . Accessed 8/6/12.

(06/26/12) RCRC’s support of partial-birth abortion is demonstrated by their Gonzales v. Carhart amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court, dated September 20, 2006.

Source: RCRC amicus brief, Gonzales v. Carhart, accessed 6/24/12.

(06/19/12) The General Board of Church and Society and the General Board of Global Ministries, Women’s Division, are member organizations of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Source:, accessed 6/19/12.

(06/12/12) “Mainline Protestant and Jewish leaders meet at the United Methodist Building in Washington , DC , to discuss the Roman Catholic Church’s pledge to overturn the new U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. This meeting, called by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, leads to the formation of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR).”

Source: , accessed 6/4/12.

(06/05/12) Prior to May, 2012, RCRC’s mission statement read, “The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice was founded in 1973 to safeguard the newly won constitutional right to abortion” (emphasis added). A paper copy of this statement is available upon request from the Lifewatch office.

Today, that same mission statement reads, “RCRC was founded in 1973 to safeguard the newly won constitutional right to privacy in decisions about abortion.”

Source: , accessed 6/4/12.

(05/14/12) Press Release:
Lifewatch Objects to UMC's Lack of Action on RCRC

Contact: Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth, President/Editor, Lifewatch

TAMPA, May 14, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The United Methodist Church's General Conference, the policy-making body for the 12-million-member global denomination, ended May 4 in Tampa, FL without considering important proposals related to the denomination's ongoing affiliation with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). General Conference meets only every four years.

The Reverend Paul T. Stallsworth, pastor of St. Peter's United Methodist Church (Morehead City, NC) and president/editor of Lifewatch (, commented:

    "It was a real disappointment to see our denomination's General Conference managed in such a way that delegates were not given the opportunity to deliberate and decide on proposals related to life and death. MANAGED is the word. For it seems that decisions were made, by a few, that prevented the conference from dealing with RCRC and some other life issues. Remember that before anti-RCRC legislation was ignored by the entire conference, it had passed a legislative sub-committee and a legislative committee.

    "It is especially disturbing that the clock was run out on these matters -- when there seemed to be plenty of time for the conference to grapple with the important matters of restructuring The United Methodist Church and the church's teaching on homosexuality. Greater justice and mercy, to the unborn child and mother, is delayed and denied for another four years.

    "Yes, we will have to wait another four years. During that time, church members and friends will be harmed by the practice of abortion, and others will leave our denomination out of the discouragement that affiliation with RCRC brings many United Methodists. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice will continue to use and abuse our church's name to advance its pro-choice political agenda. And our denomination's blank-check endorsement of RCRC's false and harmful teaching -- that the abortion of unborn children, who are created in God's image, is 'God's work' and 'holy work' -- will remain.

    "But over the next four years, Lifewatch will not be silent. For we trust, we know, that '[t]ruth is most powerful, and will ultimately prevail.' That is especially true when we identify Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life, as the truth."

(05/08/12) 2012 General Conference Report: For the first time ever, legislation to sever United Methodist ties to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) passed out of the Church & Society committee by a majority vote of 42 – 32 on Saturday, April 28, the last day of committee meetings. With a full week of plenary sessions ahead, odds appeared good for passage. Unfortunately, the May 4 adjournment arrived without consideration of the RCRC legislation. A last-minute attempt by a young female delegate to have the legislation brought to the floor for debate at 10:15 pm on Friday evening failed when only 48% of delegates voted for the motion. (A motion to change the agenda required a 2/3 majority.) The vote likely reflected a desire to go home rather than a rejection of the petition. Therefore, the General Board of Church & Society and the Women’s Division/UMW will remain members of RCRC for another four years, and we will need to repeat the entire process at the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon.

Source: Cindy Evans, Lifewatch Administrator and observer of the entire 2012 General Conference.


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