From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
PHEWA DECRIES ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE
05 May 1996 07:34:36
95015 PHEWA DECRIES ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE
by Jerry L. Van Marter
NEW ORLEANS--The Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare
Association (PHEWA) has adopted a resolution reaffirming its
opposition to violence at health clinics where abortions are
performed and expressing its "outrage about the deaths of people
associated with clinics as demonstrations of anti-abortion
The resolution, adopted by the coalition of 10 church-related
social welfare ministry networks at its Jan. 14 biennial business
meeting, also states PHEWA's opposition to imposing the death
penalty for anyone convicted of murder in clinic violence.
It encourages Presbyterians to use language, images and
behavior when dealing with the issue of abortion that will "avoid
stimulating or encouraging violence or appearing to condone violent
behaviors" and asks Presbyterians to pray for both victims and
perpetrators of clinic violence and their families.
Brown Criticized for Canceling Spahr Events
Another resolution requested the PHEWA board of directors to
write a letter to the General Assembly Council declaring the
association's "outrage" and expressing its "dismay" at GAC
executive director the Rev. James D. Brown's cancellation of two
recent events at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville featuring
the Rev. Jane A. Spahr, an avowed lesbian.
The resolution called Brown's cancellation of a prayer service
that was to be led by Spahr and a subsequent reception in her honor
in the Social Justice Program Area "an inappropriate act of
inhospitality and injustice."
When he canceled the events, which were part of a weekend of
public appearances in Louisville by Spahr, Brown said it was
because they were private events within the Presbyterian Center
that had been scheduled during regular working hours.
Saying the cancellations denied opportunities for General
Assembly-mandated dialogue on human sexuality, the resolution
concludes, "This is another example of the executive director
bending over backwards to placate those who wish to rid the church
In a related resolution, PHEWA members recommended that the
General Assembly and presbyteries take "no action" on any
amendments and overtures related to human sexuality until the
three-year period of study and dialogue on the subject is concluded
Resolutions on Child Care, Housing Also Adopted
PHEWA members passed a resolution calling for expanded
availability of child care at church meetings. In addition to more
child care, the resolution also calls for those offering child care
to follow guidelines prepared by the Presbyterian Child Advocacy
Network (one of PHEWA's 10 constituent networks) in setting up
child care at church events.
Also adopted was a resolution endorsing the National Low
Income Housing Project.
# # #
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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