November 6th, 2008
07:17 PM ET

Abortion reduction key to common ground

Richard Land
President, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Dear President-elect Obama,

First, congratulations on your election as our 44th president. I hope you know that there are tens of millions of Americans who did not vote for you who are still very, very pleased that an African American has been elected President of the United States.

That fact that this could happen in a country with as tragic a racial past as America’s says something noble and fine about the American experiment. We as a nation have chosen together to live up to the promises of our founding document, the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

We covenant to pray for you, your family, and your administration. We will pray that God will grant you godly wisdom in all your decision-making.

Mr. President-elect, Southern Baptists remain unalterably committed to the protection of unborn human life. The vast majority of Southern Baptists believe that a pre-born baby is a distinct human life, according to both science and the Bible.

You have said you want to unite us as a nation. An excellent place to work for such unity would be for you to put your full support behind the Democrats for Life initiative known as the Pregnant Women Support Act (its goal is to reduce abortion by 95 percent over a 10-year period).


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Women's Issues
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. jennifer

    I support the letter written by the Southern Baptists to BHO on behalf of abortion reduction in America. In order for us to stand united as a nation, we cannot be one sided nor can we impose pro choice as a non-issue to be simply accepted. Using government funds is a concept which forces Americans against thier will to support something in which they do not believe. I hope for an America in which all views are respected, in which all children can be represented in public shcool including Christains, in which people will not be called "out of touch" just because they are Christains or for being pro-life.

    November 7, 2008 at 8:41 am |
  2. Brandi-bottom of the boot

    Im a southern Baptist and I am Pro-Choice, not pro-abortion, but yes, pro-choice. Why do religious groups believe they have the right to dictate everyone elses lives to them.

    I am so sick of religion trying to control everything. I have faith in God, but this type of bickering between religions and controlling and judging the people by religious organizations makes me ill.

    Again, this is why there is so much tragedy in the Middle East and why our troops are still there. You cant force others to follow you.

    November 7, 2008 at 7:47 am |
  3. Rahni, Connecticut

    As a woman, please keep your hands off of my uterus. I'll make the choice to bring a life in this world or I have a choice to terminate the pregnancy if the embryo is defective in some way that it can not live a normal life. That's my choice and my opinion.


    November 7, 2008 at 7:38 am |
  4. Annie Kate

    The reduction of abortion is a noble goal – one which most people will support. Preventing an unwanted pregnancy is far easier, safer and cheaper than having an abortion and does not leave emotional scars. As Americans we need to get our head out of the sand on this issue and not only teach safe sex but give young girls and others the responsible means to practice it. This is not condoning premarital sex but is a simple recognition of the reality that between two people who care for each other, sometimes things can go further than one plans.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    November 6, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  5. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    You fundamentalists never cease to amaze me with your myopia. Have you ever heard of the Volstead Act ? That last great ‘experiement’ in legislating ‘ morality’ by banning alcahol manufacture, sales and distribution resulted in the creation of one our nations greatest criminal empires. Banning abortions will result in back alley quacks giving them [nstead of qualified doctors or in Americans going to Canada to get them. It’s simply NOT going to stop them because abortion is a personal decision and if you right wing Christian wingnuts beleve that people that get abortions are murderers thats simply YOUR BELIEF. The person getting the abortion will either rot in hell according to your religous dogma or they will just pass on. If you actually feel that stongly about abortion work to convert thse who are getting abortions to believe in your beliefs don’t work to legally restrain individual and human rights and freedom of thought !!!!!!

    The time has come to restore SECULAR SANITY to this nation of ours

    November 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm |
  6. Pam H

    Reduction of abortion is very important. I also think the Southern Baptists should be equally committed to protest about the life of innocent women, children and babies whom are killed every day as we invade countries to search for terrorists. They don't deserve it. They could be warned.

    November 6, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  7. Ian England

    The Church will never have the right over my wif'e to make any decisions as she feels fit. If you are truely Christian then tolerance should be your mantra, and you should never be involved in law making except having the same rights that everybody else has, and that is to use your vote. One day there will be seperation of Church and State and then, and only then, will the USA and the Church be considered tolerant. Do you ever wonder why church attendances are down ?

    November 6, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  8. C,CA

    You so desperately want to protect the rights of an unborn child, but what happens if after that child is born – her or she turns out to be gay? Nobody wants to protect their rights anymore. We saw that in this election and in several blog entries on this website.

    Pro-life – such hypocrisy.

    November 6, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  9. Sue, Billerica, MA

    Ideally it would be the right thing to make all abortions illegal again, but it will never happen for the same people that want to take the moral high ground of judging women in positions of desperation to have to make such a decision, are the same people who don't want to support a young unwed mother and her baby and don't want to spread their wealth to those less fortunate like the baby whose life they want to save. I think if we can ever ban abortion, we need to provide a program to guarantee the mother can afford to give that baby a shot at life with good nutrition, a roof over its head, someone that will take good care and love it unconditionally... but you want to grant biblical wisdom, and I say please no, for in the bible when humans became inconvenient God sent a flood to kill every man woman and child and animal but those Noah could cram on a boat no bigger than my house.. yikes!

    November 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  10. Charlie


    Let me Thank you on helping me past the night alway with excellent moderating as well as you and Erica Hill I must say are great together I just wish it wasn't for 45 seconds only.

    keep it up.


    November 6, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  11. Jack

    I do not wish to offend your beliefs, However, abortion is a personal choice. No one person can define human life. Not religion, not science, to think you can is assinine, and foolish.

    Its a personal choice not a law the religion should push on the government to pass. dont force your beliefs on others. this is america, were supposed to be better than that.

    Just cause you dont agree with something morally doesnt mean its wrong or evil. its just differant. and to be honest if its not your child what do you care. if they put it up for adoption, thats more tax money out of your pocket. if you wish to support the endless list of homeless hungry children of this country and others. Feel free. i wont pay for others misfortune and mistakes.

    November 6, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  12. Jim

    Richard- Unless Gods people who are called by his name don't fall on their faces before the Allmighty & cry out to him Judgement will fall & it will BEGIN IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD

    November 6, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  13. Nanci

    Abortion is a moral and social issue, it should not be treated as a political issue. The law does not force women to have abortions, it is a choise women have always made whether it was legal or not. Illegal abortions will kill women, legal abortions will leave women psychologically scarred for life. The women are victims as well as the unborn babies. If you want to reduce abortions, then work on the causes that place women in the situation of considering abortion. Work on developing the social acceptance and support systems that allow pregnant women to carry their babies full term. If you think the conservatives will do anything to stop abortion, you are wrong. YOU already have the power and the responsibility to reduce abortions in this country. What are YOU doing? And, how will YOU do better?

    November 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm |
  14. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I'd like to know if you Mr. Land and all the other Pro-Lifer's out there have adopted an orphan or two? Nothing is more annoying then people wanting to save a baby that's not born but do nothing about the orphaned children who already are here.

    November 6, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  15. xtina, chicago IL

    Good luck, Dr. Land, in getting Barack Obama to agree to this proposal. You're talking about someone who said he wouldn't want his teenage daughter to be "punished" with a baby", should she ever get pregnant.

    November 6, 2008 at 7:30 pm |
  16. Johnna

    While I do think that an organization to help pregnant mothers is absolutely extraordinary, I think that in order to fully support the country, no man (including the President or the Pope) should be able to tell a woman that she is wrong for terminating her pregnancy. It is the equivalent of telling a women that she is wrong for not terminating a pregnancy. Both viewpoints should be respected, but men especially have no place in this issue, unless it is their child.

    November 6, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  17. Cindy

    The Pregnant Women Support Act seems to be a great thing that congress and Obama should get behind and push but to me I think we need to focus on keeping women and girls from getting pregnant in the first place. That should be the main goal. Then abortion wouldn't even be an issue. There needs to be a new system that is taught in school. Obviously abstinence and using protection, which is taught now, isn't working. They need to put their heads together and figure something else out that may work better.


    November 6, 2008 at 7:26 pm |