The July 4 issue of Time magazine reports that a number of liberal Protestant groups in the United States are having second thoughts about abortion.  In 1958, the American Baptist Convention officially sanctioned abortions during the first three months of pregnancy “at the request of the individual.”  Later it became a charter member of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, a pro-choice lobby group.

Today, after a three-year study, it has voted to revise its previous position.  It acknowledges that there is a diversity of convictions within its members, running from the view that abortion can be a morally acceptable action to the view that it is immoral and a destruction of a human being created in God’s image.

Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists, too are reviewing their position according to Time.

“The mood is swinging toward a real serious look at a new abortion position,” said Louisa Rucker, executive director of the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life.  The General Convention of the Episcopal Church is to consider in August a resolution which condemns casual abortions, but retains a “moral option for termination of pregnancy in extreme cases, such as rape and incest.

Similarly, the Presbyterians are reviewing their 18-year-old-pro-choice position.  The Methodists have moderated theirs.