WHEREAS, Scripture reveals that all human life is created in the image of God, and therefore sacred to our Creator (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 9:6); and

WHEREAS, The Bible affirms that the unborn baby is a person bearing the image of God from the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13–16; Luke 1:44); and

WHEREAS, Scripture further commands the people of God to plead for protection for the innocent and justice for the fatherless (Psalm 72:12–14; Psalm 82:3; James 1:27); and

WHEREAS, January 2003 marked thirty years since the 1973 United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in all fifty states; and

WHEREAS, Resolutions passed by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1971 and 1974 accepted unbiblical premises of the abortion rights movement, forfeiting the opportunity to advocate the protection of defenseless women and children; and

WHEREAS, During the early years of the post-Roe era, some of those then in leadership positions within the denomination endorsed and furthered the “pro-choice” abortion rights agenda outlined in Roe v. Wade; and

WHEREAS, Some political leaders have referenced 1970s-era Southern Baptist Convention resolutions and statements by former Southern Baptist Convention leaders to oppose legislative efforts to protect women and children from abortion; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptist churches have effected a renewal of biblical orthodoxy and confessional integrity in our denomination, beginning with the Southern Baptist Convention presidential election of 1979; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention has maintained a robust commitment to the sanctity of all human life, including that of the unborn, beginning with a landmark pro-life resolution in 1982; and

WHEREAS, Our confessional statement, The Baptist Faith and Message, affirms that children “from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord”; and further affirms that Southern Baptists are mandated by Scripture to “speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death”; and

WHEREAS, The legacy of Roe v. Wade has grown to include ongoing assaults on human life such as euthanasia, the harvesting of human embryos for the purposes of medical experimentation, and an accelerating move toward human cloning; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 17–18, 2003, reiterate our conviction that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was based on a fundamentally flawed understanding of the United States Constitution, human embryology, and the basic principles of human rights; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our belief that the Roe v. Wade decision was an act of injustice against innocent unborn children as well as against vulnerable women in crisis pregnancy situations, both of which have been victimized by a “sexual revolution” that empowers predatory and irresponsible men and by a lucrative abortion industry that has fought against even the most minimal restrictions on abortion; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we offer our prayers, our love, and our advocacy for women and men who have been abused by abortion and the emotional, spiritual, and physical aftermath of this horrific practice; affirming that the gospel of Jesus Christ grants complete forgiveness for any sin, including that of abortion; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we lament and renounce statements and actions by previous Conventions and previous denominational leadership that offered support to the abortion culture; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly confess that the initial blindness of many in our Convention to the enormity of Roe v. Wade should serve as a warning to contemporary Southern Baptists of the subtlety of the spirit of the age in obscuring a biblical worldview; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge our Southern Baptist churches to remain vigilant in the protection of human life by preaching the whole counsel of God on matters of human sexuality and the sanctity of life, by encouraging and empowering Southern Baptists to adopt unwanted children, by providing spiritual, emotional, and financial support for women in crisis pregnancies, and by calling on our government officials to take action to protect the lives of women and children; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our appreciation to both houses of Congress for their passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, and we applaud President Bush for his commitment to sign this bill into law; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge Congress to act swiftly to deliver this bill to President Bush for his signature; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray and work for the repeal of the Roe v. Wade decision and for the day when the act of abortion will be not only illegal, but also unthinkable.


View all 2003 Resolutions.