PHOENIX, June 19, 2003 ( – At the annual general meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) yesterday, delegates voted to undo several resolutions adopted by the convention in the 1970s that expressed support for abortion in cases where the mother’s or infant’s health was in question. Although pro-life since the 1980s, the SBC nevertheless decided to pass a resolution “on thirty years of Roe v. Wade,” saying they “lament and renounce statements and actions by previous Conventions and previous denominational leadership that offered support to the abortion culture.”  The SBC compared its revisiting of the issue and repudiation of its earlier stand to its 1995 apology and repudiation of its former stance “condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism” against African-Americans.

Speaking of its newly passed resolution repudiating the SBC pro-abortion stance which was held in the 1970s, Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the SBC’s moral concerns arm said: “It’s never too late to say you’re sorry.  We needed to express our sorrow and our grief over the fact that for a time our convention was officially, through its resolution process, on the wrong side of this issue.”  The resolution asserts the 1973 decision ushered in a new and frightful era of “assaults on human life,” such as human cloning and human embryonic cell research.  It also expressed regret that “1970s-era Southern Baptist Convention resolutions and statements” furthered the “‘pro-choice’ abortion rights agenda outlined in Roe v. Wade” and that some of the nation’s political leaders referenced the comments and views of former SBC leaders “to oppose legislative efforts to protect women and children from abortion.”  See the Baptist Press release on the new pro-life resolution: