Conviction and compassion: Atlantic Baptists and the abortion issue
LE3 .A278 2000
Master of Arts
Acadia Divinity College
The United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces responded to the abortion issue during the period from the late 1960s until the early 1990s. The central focus of this thesis is upon a number of key leaders within the Convention whose contemplation of the theological and practical aspects of the issue helped provide the impetus for the Convention's formal adoption of a pro-life stance. The changing of leadership within the Convention during the latter half of the twentieth century, from moderate liberal to conservative also impacted the way the abortion issue was viewed. A transition occurs between the first attempt by the Board of Social Service to address the abortion issue which led to the moderately liberal orientation of 1973 Study Paper on Abortion, and the perspective of later thinkers such as Craig Carter and Stephen Dempster who develop a strongly conservative theological and practical approach to the abortion issue. These men play a significant role in leading the Convention to publicly adopt a prolife orientation. The approach taken by these key leaders shows an affinity with the 1921 Social Gospel Platform's concern for the well-being of families, especially mothers and children. The resolutions passed by Convention Assembly point to a continuation of this tradition of concern, as does the ensuing interest in the development and support of the Crisis Pregnancy Centre ministries which begins to materialize in the late 1980s.
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