“The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada believe that the unborn child is a human person. Human life, possessing a special sanctity in that it is created in the image of God, begins at conception. We believe that this view is in conformity with the teachings and principles of the Word of God.” This statement is the introduction to a position paper , entitled “ The Christian Alternative to Abortion”, soon to be circulated by the largest Pentecostal denomination in Canada. The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada serve 155,000 adherents in some 969 congregations from coast to coast. (The fellowship experienced a 12.5 percent growth in 1982 over the previous year.)

The Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland, a sister organization with 30,000 adherents, share a similar view of the unborn and the sanctity of life.

The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada have always viewed the unborn child as a human being and has so voiced the conviction in statements over many years. The position paper is an attempt to articulate that conviction to the people of Canada in a clear and simple way.

The paper states that human life is a continuum from the moment of conception to the moment of death and that the only possible justification for the interruption of a pregnancy would be in the extremely rare situation in which an abortion is performed to save the life of the mother. Abortion performed for any other reason is the deliberate taking of human life and is equivalent to murder.

This conclusion was reached after consultation with a large number of professional people within the denomination whose disciplines include theology, medicine and law.

The persons drafting the paper are fully aware of the trauma experienced by mothers whose pregnancies are complicated by domestic, social, financial and medical circumstances. It recognized the difficulties relating to rape and incest. Nevertheless, the paper calls upon its members and Christians in general to provide scripturally-based sex education and family planning programs in order to instill biblical values. It calls for the establishment of counseling centres which recognize and uphold the sanctity of life and the provision of homes for the unwed mother, adoption agencies and day-care agencies with a Christian world-view.

The paper calls for Christians to provide the means of counsel, forgiveness and care for those who have already experienced an abortion. It seeks to expose the true ramifications of an abortion on the mother, with an emphasis on the spiritual, physical and psychological after-effects.