Abolition in the SBC: Utah/ Idaho Baptist Convention Calls Governors, Legislature to Abolish Abortion

(Free the States) Abolitionist momentum within the SBC continued on Friday as the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention passed the Resolution on Abolishing Abortion at their annual convention. The resolution had 79 cosigners and was based on the resolution passed at the national annual meeting, with some edits made by Idaho pastor Paul Thompson with the help of Free the States.

While abolitionist resolutions in other states have produced fierce debates on the floors of conventions between abolitionists and pro-lifers, the Utah-Idaho resolution sailed through without any substantial edits from the Resolutions Committee nor opposition from a single messenger. Resolutions Committee Chair Jason DeFoor presented Thompson’s resolution to the messengers without any substantive amendments, no one spoke against the resolution, and according to Thompson, the vote in favor was unanimous.

As passed, the resolution reads:

  1. Whereas, the word of God, the Holy Bible, is a lamp to our feet (Psalm 119:105), its words are sweeter than honey to our mouth (Psalm 119:103), the law of God is perfect, the testimony of the Lord is sure, the fear of the Lord is clean, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous (Psalm 19:7-9), and that this Holy Scripture, as given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:14-17), and
  2. Whereas, from the moment of fertilization, all humans are created in God’s image by, through, and for Jesus to the glory of God, and all souls belong to Him (Genesis 1:27; 4:1; 21;2 Isaiah 7:14; Colossians 1:16; Romans 11:36; Ezekiel 18:4), and
  3. Whereas, all humans display His divine worth, power, and attributes – they possess equal and objective worth before God regardless of means of conception, ethnicity, age, size, mental development, physical development, gender, or contribution to society (Romans 1:19-20; Genesis 1:27; 9:6, Matthew 18:6), and
  4. Whereas, God, who is above all rule and authority, establishes all governing authorities as His avenging servants to punish the evildoer and commands these authorities to judge justly (Colossians 2:15; Psalm 82; Proverbs 20:10; Romans 13:4) and,
  5. Whereas, over the past forty-eight years, there have been more than sixty million reported inhumane acts of induced abortions (actions to intentionally stop an otherwise natural birth) of fellow image-of-God-bearing humans, and
  6. Whereas, the Baptist Faith and Message, according to Article XV, 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,”
  7. Whereas, the messengers of the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting affirmed and declared, the Southern Baptist Resolution on Abolishing Abortion, that abortion must be immediately abolished and preborn children must be afforded the equal protection of the law in accordance with God’s Word and the U.S. Constitution, Now, let it be
  8. Resolved, that we, the messengers of the Utah/Idaho Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Meridian, Idaho October 29, 2021, agree with God that no human institution, government, rule, or authority has permission from God to allow the intentional shedding of innocent blood and we reject any position that allows for any exceptions to the Holy and Righteous standard of Justice (Psalm 94:6, Isaiah 10:1-2; Proverbs 24:11; Psalm 82:1-4), and be it further
  9. Resolved, that we affirm that the murder of preborn children is a crime against humanity that must be punished equally under the law, and be it further
  10. Resolved, that as Southern Baptists we will engage, with God’s help, in establishing equal justice and protection for preborn children by calling upon Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson and the rest of the Utah State House, and Utah Senate President J. Stuart Adams and the rest of the Utah Senate to pass, sign, and enforce legislation that would fully, finally, and immediately abolish the heinous act of abortion in Utah immediately without exception or compromise, and be it further
  11. Resolved, that as Southern Baptists we will engage, with God’s help, in establishing equal justice and protection for preborn children by calling upon Idaho Governor Brad Little, Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke, the rest of the Idaho House, Idaho Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Winder, and the rest of the Idaho Senate to pass, sign, and enforce legislation that would fully, finally, and immediately abolish the heinous act of abortion in Idaho immediately without exception or compromise, and be it further
  12. Resolved, that as Southern Baptists we will engage, with God’s help, in establishing equal justice and protection for preborn children by calling upon President Joe Biden, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate President Pro Tempore Charles Schumer and the rest of the U.S. Senate to pass, sign, and enforce legislation that would fully, and finally, and immediately abolish the heinous act of abortion in the United States immediately without exception or compromise, and be it further
  13. Resolved that we encourage pastors and churches to use their God-ordained gifts of preaching, teaching, and leading our communities to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor — yes, even our pre-born neighbor — as if he/she were our own life, and be it finally
  14. Resolved, that we stand ready to rescue those being led to the slaughter motivated by our love for God by means that are pleasing to Him, so help us God (Proverbs 24:11).

The distinctive feature of this resolution is its call for specific public officials in each state and the federal government to work to abolish abortion. This is particularly applicable in Idaho where State Representative Heather Scott has filed an abolition bill each of the past three sessions. Governor Brad Little, House Speaker Scott Bedke, and Senate President Chuck Winder have not lifted a finger to support it thus far.

Scott Herndon is the director of Abolish Abortion Idaho and the lobbyist who wrote the Idaho abolition bill. He is now running for State Senate and explains:

“As the author of the bill that would abolish abortion in Idaho and treat it properly as the crime of homicide, I am pleased at the progress the resolution of the Southern Baptists for Utah and Idaho represents.”

Herndon noted that only five years ago, no one in Idaho politics had ever considered abolishing abortion immediately in defiance of Roe. He also tracked the progress of the movement in Idaho from an abolitionist ballot initiative in 2016, to the first abolition bill in 2019, to the making the Republican platform abolitionist in 2020, to the SBC victory in 2021.

“Now a group that represents 170 churches in Idaho and Utah are specifically calling on Governor Little and the Idaho legislature to act. To establish equal justice and end the murder in Idaho, it is my prayer that House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate leader Chuck Winder would heed the Southern Baptists’ call and act now. 29 children a week die while we tarry, and 48 years of traditional pro-life legislative efforts that capitulate to unconstitutional court tyranny have only resulted in NO abortions banned and tens of thousands of dead Idaho babies.”


Editor’s Note. The following post was written by James Silberman and originally published at Free the States, the organization creating and drafting abolitionist bills across the US, and who were instrumental in crafting and supporting the recent ‘Abolition of Abortion’ resolution that the SBC adopted this summer. Reprinted in full with permission. If anyone would like to support the work they do, they can do so below.

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