The Jan. 24 issue of the ABN Now online edition contained a Baptist Press article by Tom Strode with statements by Richard Land and Jerry Sutton linking the Southern Baptist stance on the abortion issue to the Conservative Resurgence and indicated those who opposed the political actions of the Resurgence were pro-abortion. Many relevant facts were not stated and other statements presented as facts were not true.
It was stated that at the 1971 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, Foy Valentine of the Christian Life Commission supported a resolution that would permit abortion in rare cases. Land stated this was proof that “those Southern Baptists who disagreed with the effort to reform the convention’s institutions” were “mostly pro-choice themselves.” But leaders of the Conservative Resurgence were taking an even more pro-abortion position at that time. W.A. Criswell has been acknowledged as the spiritual and inspirational leader of the Conservative Resurgence. In 1973, shortly after Roe vs. Wade, Criswell stated, “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person, and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.” Other Conservative Resurgence leaders were making similar statements. By using the “guilt by association” methods of Strode and Land, you could say the Conservative Resurgence was more pro-abortion than those opposed to the Resurgence, but that would be as misleading as Land’s attempt to paint those of us who oppose the political methods of the Conservative Resurgence as pro-choice.
Strode’s article has presented a distorted image of the Southern Baptist stance on abortion. Like others who are committed to inerrancy and opposed to the political Resurgence, I rejoice in our denomination’s support for the pro-life movement. We should work together for this cause instead of making false accusations against some or giving undeserved credit to others.
Editor's Note: The article referenced in this letter did not appear in the ABN print edition. It was published in the ABN Now digital edition and online on the ABN website. To read the article click here.