Salvation Army USA clashes with international group over abortion
January 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Leaders of the American branch of the Salvation Army have criticized the decision by the international branch of the church to condone abortion in some cases, saying that the new position does not reflect the beliefs of members in the United States.
WorldNetDaily revealed that American leaders were infuriated by a Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission position paper accepting abortion in the cases of rape, incest or fatal fetal deformity in December.
Major George Hood, chief communications officer for Salvation Army USA, told WND that that the position statement had apparently been developed “through the London office that does not reflect the position we’ve taken in the U.S. on abortion,” and pointed towards the U.S. branch’s own statement, which is unequivocally pro-life.
The USA branch states: “The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and considers each person to be of infinite value and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and redeemed. Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God and has an eternal destiny. (Genesis 1:27) Sacredness is not conferred, nor can it be taken away by human agreement. The Salvation Army deplores society’s ready acceptance of abortion, which reflects insufficient concern for vulnerable persons, including the unborn. (Psalms 82:3-4)”
Hood said he was outraged at the international group’s statement, which declares that because “rape and incest are brutal acts of dominance violating women physically and emotionally,” such a situation “represents a special case for the consideration of termination as the violation may be compounded by the continuation of the pregnancy.”
It also states, “The Salvation Army believes that termination can occur only when carrying the pregnancy further seriously threatens the life of the mother, or reliable diagnostic procedures have identified a foetal abnormality considered incompatible with survival for more than a very brief post natal period.”
“When I read [the international group’s position] I was stunned,” Hood said. “When I saw the language, there was smoke coming out of both my ears.”
Rebecca Kiessling, an attorney and pro-life activist who was conceived in rape, called the pro-abortion statement “one of the most disheartening things I’ve seen.”
““The Salvation Army is all about rescuing treasures and trading beauty for ashes with the used clothes and household items people donate to them, but they can’t seem to do the same for rape victims and their children,” said Kiessling, who says she has donated to the popular charity group.
Hood told WND that the issue would be raised at the church’s international conference in February. “There will be correspondence sent objecting to this statement being released in the U.S., because it has no bearing in the U.S.,” he said.
Read the WorldNetDaily report here.