Southern Baptist Resolution on Equal Protection of the Laws for Preborn Children
To be presented at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting Anaheim, California, June 14-15, 2022.

(1) WHEREAS, an individual human life begins at the moment God combines the reproductive cell of a man with that of a woman and begins the process of forming the body of the child in the womb—biblically called conception, and biologically called fertilization (Genesis 4:1, 17; 16:11; 21:2; 25:22; 29:32; 29:33-35; 30:5, 7, 17, 19, 23; 38:3-5, 24-25; Exodus 2:2; 21:22; Leviticus 12:2; Numbers 11:12; Judges 13:2-7; Ruth 4:13; 1 Samuel 1:20; 2:21; 4:19; 2 Samuel 11:5; 2 Kings 8:12; 15:16; 1 Chronicles 4:17; 7:23; Job 10:8-12; 31:15; Psalm 51:5; 139:13-15; Ecclesiastes 11:5; Isaiah 7:14; 8:3; 26:17; 44:2, 24; 49:5; Jeremiah 1:4-5; 20:17; 31:8; Hosea 1:3, 6, 8; 2:5; 12:3; 13:16; Amos 1:13; Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:24, 31, 36), and

(2) WHEREAS, from the moment of fertilization, all human beings are created equal—of equal value because all are made by God in His own image (Gen 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6; Proverbs 22:2; James 3:9), and

(3) WHEREAS, God’s holy character despises partiality in judgment and unequal weights and measures, but a just weight is His delight (Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job 34:10-21; Prov 22:2; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 2:6-12; 10:12; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:23-25; 1 Timothy 5:21; James 2:1-9; 1 Peter 1:17-19; Lev 19:35-36; Deut 25:13-15; Prov 11:1; 16:11; 20:10, 23; Ezekiel 45:10; Hos 12:7; Micah 6:11), and

(4) WHEREAS, consistent with His character, God’s Word treats preborn persons similarly to born persons, including requiring similar justice for harm criminally done to either, and using the same terms to define children whether inside or outside the womb (Exod 21:22-25; Judg 13:2-7; 16:17; Psa 22:9-10; 71:6; Isa 49:1; Jer 20:14-18; Ruth 1:11; Gen 25:21-26; Rom 9:10-13; Job 3:3; Luke 1:15, 24, 36; Gen 21:7; 25:22; Luke 1:41, 44; 2:12, 16; 18:15; Acts 7:19; 1 Pet 2:2; Col 4:14), and

(5) WHEREAS, God commands civil authorities to do justice generally, and specifically to do justice to the fatherless, and He forbids the showing of partiality in judgment (Exod 22:22-24; 23:2-3; Lev 19:15; Deut 1:16-17; 16:18-20; 24:17; 27:19; Psa 82:2-3; 94:6; Prov 18:5; Isa 1:16-17, 23; 10:1-2; Jer 5:28; 7:5-7; 21:12; 22:3; Ezek 45:9; Amos 5:15; Matt 23:23), and

(6) WHEREAS, Jesus commands what is commonly called the Golden Rule, that “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them,” and He sums up the whole of the Scriptures for how we must think and act toward our neighbors from fertilization onwards with the Royal Law: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 7:12; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 6:31; 10:27; Lev 19:18; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8), now, be it therefore

(7) RESOLVED by the messengers of the SBC meeting in Anaheim, California, June 14-15, 2022, that we reject partiality in judgment and any position or practice that denies the equal protection of the laws to our preborn neighbors from fertilization, and be it further

(8) RESOLVED, that equal protection requires the same legal prohibitions and available sanctions against homicide that exist to protect persons after birth to likewise protect persons before birth, thereby serving to deter all persons from willingly aiding with or procuring or performing prenatal homicide, and be it further

(9) RESOLVED, that such equal protection would require a case-by-case determination, and would not alter any existing presumption, defense, justification, immunity, or clemency, including that mothers would not be subject to criminal liability if under criminal duress, mistake of fact, or in a life-threatening medical emergency, or for an accidental or natural death, or for an act prior to the effective date of the law, and be it further

(10) RESOLVED, that such equal protection would not prohibit the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF), but would require it to be performed without willfully destroying a living human being, and finally, be it

(11) RESOLVED, that we, our churches, and our ministries love both our born and preborn neighbors as ourselves by continuing steadfast in our commitment to pursue pure and undefiled religion towards both mothers and children prayerfully, financially, and in practice in prenatal and postnatal care through pregnancy resource centers, counseling, fostering, adoption, and other available means.

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