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March 16, 2012

Board of Pensions' response to GA referral lacks remedy for Relief of Conscience concerns

by Marie Bowen

The 219th General Assembly (2010) urged the Board of Pensions:

"to develop a plan to ensure that funds from any Relief of Conscience churches do not go to fund abortions through any avenue."

Unlike their serious consideration of a similar "urging" related to the extension of benefits to same-sex domestic partners of Plan members, the BOP brushed off the concerns of Plan members who find the Plan's abortion coverage an affront to their Christian conscience.

The action of the GA was an alternate resolution to a Commissioner's Resolution (Item 18-12) urging the Board of Pensions to "discontinue paying for induced abortion as a covered benefit in its Medical Benefits Plan (unless a licensed physician documents that it is necessary to preserve the physical life of the mother)."

Even as the response may meet the formal criteria of a GA referral to one of its agencies, it fails to meet the standard of decent consideration of the underlying concerns and exposes weaknesses in the wording of the GA approved alternate resolution. Read more.

Abortion and the Medical Benefits Plan of the PCUSA
539 Churches have been certified as "Relief of Conscience" churches in the PCUSA. Do they know something you don't? Learn about abortion coverage in the mandatory PCUSA healthcare plan and find out how your church can apply for Relief of Conscience. Click here to read PPL's booklet on the topic online or email our office to request a copy.
PPL new website PPL's website has a new face!
We are so excited about the fresh new look of our new website. We hope you will like it. We think our many resources and publications for equipping churches to cherish life are easier to find than ever before.
We'd love to know what you think about our website. Please visit the website. Check out our new look and then take a short survey to tell us your opinions.

From the PPL Blog

It's a shocking idea--that a parent should be allowed to take a baby's life after birth, for whatever reason the child is unwanted. Sad isn't it that most of us find that more shocking than abortion.

In This Issue
BOP response lacks remedy
Abortion and PCUSA benefits
PPL's New Website
"After Birth Abortion"
Ideas! Churches Share
Brand New!


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Partner's for Life Churches are building a culture of life in their congregations.

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A special opportunity for Pittsburgh Area Churches!

Pro-Life churches in the Pittsburgh Presbytery!

You have a unique opportunity to support PPL's GA team effort June 29-July7.

Perhaps your congregation could provide food & beverages for one day at PPL's Hospitality Suite.

Consider hosting a pre-GA training on giving effecitve testimony in GA committees.

Rally a host of witnesses to give 1-2 minute testimonies in GA committees on life issues.

Don't live in Pittsburgh?

Copy our petition asking the Board of Pensions to stop covering abortion. Gather signatures in your congregation and send them to the PPL office. We will deliver them to the Assembly committee that is considering this issue.


Praying with PPL

March 18-24

Philippians 2:25-30; Psalm 23

Pray for those women who have suffered miscarriages; that God will sustain them by His power and will send His people to care for them.

Pray for those who minister to women suffering from the grief and guilt of abortion; that they will serve with love and compassion

in the name of Jesus Christ; the One who forgives and restores.

March 25-31

Read Matthew 5: 1-12

Pray that our nation would mourn its sin of denying the sanctity of life from fertilization to natural death; pray for those at the end of life and for the families and congregations

who care for them.

Pray that you will hunger and thirst for righteousness by repenting and believing the Gospel all the days of your life.

Next month's PPL Enews will focus on the end of life. We will include a wonderful article by David Brattston that you won't want to miss! In the meantime if PPL can be of assistance in equipping you and your congregation for ministry, don't hesitate to contact us!
Yours in Christ for Life,

Marie Bowen
Executive Director
Presbyterians Pro-Life logo