The Mormon Church's Stance on Abortion

As the days dwindle to a few before next Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney’s flip-flop record on abortion is the subject of a recent burst of text messages received by Iowans.
Since Romney is not just a Mormon but a former pastor (“lay clergy”) and ward bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the LDS’ position on abortion should therefore govern his stance on abortion.
Fellowship of the Minds’ co-founder Joan (“Joandarc”) grew up in Salt Lake City and is more knowledgeable about the Mormon faith than I am. The following is from her research into the LDS Church’s official stance on abortion.
~Eowyn

According to the book, When Mormons Call, published by Catholic Answers, pages 54 and 55, the actual position of Mormonism on this subject is as follows:

Abortion: Compare the [LDS] church’s statement in its 1988 handbook, Gospel Principles, with that of the 1992 edition: 

1988 edition:  There is no excuse for abortion unless the life of the mother is seriously threatened (241).

1992 edition:  There is seldom any excuse for abortion.  The only exceptions are when — 1. Pregnancy has resulted from incest or rape; 2.  The life of the woman is in jeopardy in the opinion of competent medical authority; or 3.  The fetus is known, by competent medical authority, to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.  (251).

Prior to the 1992 printing, the Mormon church permitted abortion if the mother’s life were seriously threatened.  While appearing stringent, this is a pro-abortion stand.  It permitted the killing of the innocent unborn child to “save” the life of the mother–a situation that medical science has rendered virtually nonexistent and which sound moral theology has always rejected as “doing evil that goood may come.”

The more recent Mormon position is of course the “politically correct” one.  Since church policy is determined by divine revelation, apparently God has loosened His law.
Ask your Mormon acquaintances about a “fetus.”  Chances are, they’ll quote (correctly) leaders’ statements referring to the unborn “child” and innocent “human baby.”  Then ask them about their church’s position on abortion.  They’ll probably say, “We’re pro-life,” or “Only in the case of the mother’s life.”  Then point out the true Mormon position and ask them to justify it.  How can the church be so “pro-life” yet permit the killing of an “innocent child” in so many cases?”
~Joan

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James Fairbanks
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James Fairbanks

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (aka LDS or Mormons). Unfortunately, this post does not address our church’s position on abortion completely, or entirely accurate. First, you see, the blogger apparently left out this statement, directly following these exceptions: “The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct.” A conference report by Elder Nelson in… Read more »

Joan
Editor

I reiterate what I said in the post, that Mormons do have exceptions allowing abortion as set out above No amount of further edifiction can change your pubished textual teachings.

Joan
Editor

The exception to abortion that I really find offensive is exception #3, if the fetus has severe defects that will not allow it to survive beyond birth. How would any human being know whether or not a life would survive or not survive after birth? Only God has jurisdiction and knowledge over life. If a fetus is defective and lives, then the defective child is a holy child, just like a child without defects, totally innocent and made in the image and likeness of God. I was told many years ago that my son would not live through his teen… Read more »

Joan
Editor

Sage – That is correct. They are a polytheistic faith theologically. I do not think even members of the Mormon Church realize what their doctrines really are. There are so many, many good and wonderful Mormon people. For me, the road to purity and holiness is bearing defects and bearing suffering, although imperfectly, but through Jesus. Our Lord told us, “Take up your cross and follow me.” I once had a lady say to me in my kitchen (I was making a gourmet salad and we had purchased pizza-this was the first time I met her), looking me up and… Read more »

James Fairbanks
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James Fairbanks

When people attempt to research what I believe as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I believe they should search official published teachings, and not just in bits and pieces that can be taken out of context. The Church’s issued statement on Abortion in 1991 says, “The Church recognizes that there may be rare cases in which abortion may be justified—cases involving pregnancy by incest or rape; when the life or health of the woman is adjudged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy; or when the fetus is known by competent medical… Read more »

Joan
Editor

James, I quoted accurately what is stated in the Mormon publication, “Gospel Principles,” 1992 edition, as to the Mormon teaching on abortion. Nothing that you said is contrary to what I quoted. There are three exceptions Mormons recognize which allow abortion. That is not a pro-life position, once again, no matter how you edify that. I could go into many doctrines of Mormonism that are contrary to the teachings of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, but frankly at this time, my arms are hurting horribly, and the pain I am experiencing is not allowing… Read more »

doodie
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Meanwhile, lotion manufactures are using dead baby tissue in their lotion products. https://doodiepants.com/2011/12/31/dead-babies-make-great-lotion/ Is there any continuity in our ethical judgements?

Christie
Guest

The deep dark secret of the homosexual community is the high percentage of its members that seek out sex with underage boys. Consider the following: ” * The Gay Report, published by homosexual researchers Jay and Young in 1979, revealed that 73 percent of homosexuals surveyed had at some time had sex with boys 16 to 19 years of age or younger. * Although homosexuals account for less than two percent of the population. they constitute about a third of child molesters. Further, as noted by the Encino, Calif.-based National Association for research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), “since homosexual… Read more »

Christopher
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Christopher

Quote Dr. Eowyn, “I just wish Mormons, too, believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Second Person of the Triune Godhead.” I don’t understand where you get this opinion. If you know anything about the; “Mormon” church, you would realize the Church has Jesus Christ as its head; hence the actual church name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). The biggest difference between the Church and other Christian faiths is the “Mormons” (Saints) believe The Godhead is comprised of three SEPARATE individuals. It is actually believed That God is God and his ACTUAL… Read more »