Early last month a draft decision by the Supreme Court of the United States was leaked, indicating that the nation’s highest court would overturn the constitutional right to abortion and leave the decision to the states. This morning, that decision was announced and became law, overturning 50 years of precedent.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that three other court decisions should also be struck down on the same grounds: Griswold (the right to contraception), Lawrence (de-criminalizing sex between LGBTQ persons), and Obergefell (marriage equality).

If you are in deep distress today, you are not alone.

Because many celebrating this decision today are doing so with reference to their Christian beliefs, you might wonder where Crawford stands on this issue. At the Annual Conference of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church two weeks ago, we adopted a resolution on this matter, which is in line with the stance of the United Methodist Church as a denomination. It concludes:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the New England Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church affirms this statement and upholds a person’s right to an abortion after informed consideration with their family, medical practitioners, pastor, and other pertinent counsel. State and federal laws and regulations prohibiting abortion violate a person’s right to the full range of reproductive health care, and, potentially, life.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that New England United Methodists pledge solidarity with those who seek reproductive health care, including abortion, by taking active measures, including accompanying people to medical appointments when necessary.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that New England United Methodists and their churches will support a person’s right to reproductive health care, including abortion, through personal prayer, letter writing campaigns to their legislators and, when necessary, peaceful protest.

You can read the full text of the resolution, which includes the full statement of the UMC, here.
The resolution passed by an overwhelming majority, including my vote and the vote of Crawford’s Lay Delegate to Annual Conference, Colin Simson.
Unlike some denominations and churches, your church membership or right to pastoral care and support is not dependent on your agreement with the church’s or pastor’s stand on social issues. But I wanted to make it clear that the stand of the UMC, the New England Conference, and the leadership of Crawford is in alignment with the above resolution.
As we process today’s decision and figure out a way forward, I encourage all of you to support one another, to join in the actions affirmed in the resolution, to listen to the lived experiences of others, to reach out for support, and to pray.
In faith,