Via email–the text of a resolution passed by the Diocesan Board.
Title: Disaffiliation with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Sponsors: The Rev George Conger, The Very Rev. Eric Turner, The Very Rev Tim Nunez.
Resolved; The Diocesan Board of the Diocese of Central Florida on Feb 19 hereby dissociates itself from the affiliation of The Episcopal Church by The Executive Council with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and directs the Secretary to forward notice of this disassociation to the next meeting of the Annual Convention of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Central Florida with a recommendation that a resolution be made by that body endorsing dissociation.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) is a political advocacy group dedicated to defending and expanding abortion rights””that is, legal rights to all abortions, whatever the circumstances, without exception””in American law.
The “RCRC was founded in 1973 to safeguard the newly won constitutional right to abortion,” according to The Rev Carlton W. Veazey, RCRC president and CEO (www.rcrc.org/about/index.cfm);
The RCRC’s founding mission remains unchanged: “The primary struggle for reproductive choice has shifted to the state level, with new legislation limiting access to reproductive health care traveling from state to state until enough momentum develops to bring it to the national arena. In such a climate, we need healthy state [RCRC] organizations so that we can stop each new threat as it arises” (www.rcrc.org/getinvolved/affiliate.cfm);
The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Des Moines, Iowa from January 9-12, 2006, approved The Episcopal Church’s membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
At the 74th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Tennessee introduced resolution C-048, which called upon the General Convention to rescind The Episcopal Church’s membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Resolution C-048 was withdrawn from consideration at the 74th General Convention and no action was taken affecting The Episcopal Church’s membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
While the RCRC works for abortion rights in any and all circumstances, The Episcopal Church teaches that moral discernment, on matters related to abortion, is essential. Resolution A054 adopted by the 1994 General Convention states “We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience.”
Episcopalians hold varying political positions on the morality, legality and necessity of abortion, and it is therefore improper that this Diocese, by virtue of an action of The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, be deemed a member of a political lobbying group whose goal is to promote abortion upon demand, for any reason and at any time.