Southern Baptist Convention

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Beginning of Life

The SBC believes that life begins at conception and bears the image of God: “Procreation is a gift from God, a precious trust reserved for marriage. At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God's image. This human being deserves our protection, whatever the circumstances of conception.” (Sanctity of Life Position Statement)[1]


The SBC is against abortion for all reasons except to save the life of the mother:

“…all human life, both born and pre-born, is sacred, bearing the image of God, and is not subject to personal judgments as to ‘quality of life’ based on such subjective criteria as stage of development, abnormality, intelligence level, degree of dependency, cost of medical treatment, or inconvenience to parents.” (Resolution on Abortion and Infanticide, 1982)[2]
“…we support and will work for appropriate legislation and/or constitutional amendment which will prohibit abortions except to save the physical life of the mother, and that we also support and will work for legislation which will prohibit the practice of infanticide.” (Resolution on Abortion and Infanticide, 1982 reaffirmed in 1989, 1991, and 1993 Resolutions)[3]

Healthcare & Medicine

Organ Donation & Transplantation

“…we…encourage physicians to request organ donation in appropriate circumstances; and…we encourage voluntarism regarding organ donations in the spirit of stewardship, compassion for the needs of others, and alleviating suffering; and…we recognize the validity of living wills and organ donor cards, along with the right of next of kin to make decisions regarding organ donations; and…nothing in the resolution be construed to condone euthanasia, infanticide, abortion, or harvesting of fetal tissue for the procurement of organs. (Resolution on Human Organ Donations, 1988)[4]

Privacy of Healthcare Information

“…we solicit lawmakers to pass federal legislation protecting genetic privacy and prohibiting the use of information gathered through genetic testing to stigmatize and discriminate against individuals on the basis of their genetic information.” (Resolution on Genetic Technology and Cloning, 1997)[5]

Science & Technology


Animal-Human Hybrids

“[we] repudiate in strongest possible terms human species-altering technologies; and…we oppose efforts at human-animal hybridization, specifically any attempts to mix human and animal gametes (sperm and egg) or implanting human embryos in animal wombs and vice versa; and…while we support attempts at human somatic cell gene therapy for serious genetic illnesses if proper regard is given to informed consent, safety, efficacy, and the just allocation of available resources, we oppose any biotechnology that results in blurring the human-animal species barrier, such as the implantation of human brain cells into mice; and…while we support the use of simple gene transfer from humans to animals for drug production (e.g., human insulin, human growth hormone, clotting factor VIII) and therapeutic human-animal technologies such as the use of pig heart valves in humans, we oppose any human germline genetic modification that results in the destruction of human embryos or their equivalent (e.g., totipotential cells); and…we cannot endorse any use of human germline modification at this time, no matter how well-intentioned, due to the unpredictability of the process and the possible introduction of irreversible destructive errors into the human gene pool.” (Resolution on Human Species-Altering Technologies, 2006)[6]

Human Cloning

“… we urge Congress to pass a legal ban on cloning human beings in the United States and work toward international policy to make cloning human beings illegal around the world.” (Resolution on Genetic Technology and Cloning, 1997)[7]
“…the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 12-13, 2001, express our abhorrence at attempts to clone a human being; and…consistent with our positions on both cloning and embryo research, we repudiate both reproductive cloning and research cloning of human embryos; and…we urge Congress to enact a permanent, comprehensive ban on human cloning, making it unlawful to clone a human being, including a human embryo, and attaching severe penalties to attempts to clone human beings, including human embryos.” (Resolution on Human Cloning, 2001)[8]

Stem Cell Research

“…we strongly support stem cell research that does not require the destruction of human embryos or put them at risk in obtaining human stem cells; and…we deplore embryo-destructive research, since it kills human beings in their earliest stages of development.” (Resolution on Stem Cell Research, 2005)[9]
“…we…reaffirm our vigorous opposition to the destruction of innocent human life, including the destruction of human embryos.” (Resolution on Human Embryonic and Stem Cell Research, 1999)[10]

Genetic Ethics

Genetic Testing

“…we voice our emphatic opposition to the use of prenatal genetic testing for the purpose of abortion decisions.” (Resolution on Genetic Technology and Cloning, 1997)[11]

Patenting of Human Tissue/Gene Patenting

“…we encourage the continued development of genetic technologies which contribute to the treatment and cure of genetic illnesses; and…we encourage a national dialogue about the merits and liabilities of patenting animal and human genes; and…That our national discussion include religious communities and their values, as well as the scientific community with its values.” (Resolution on the Patenting of Animal and Human Genes, 1995)[12]

Human Research Ethics

Experimentation on Human Embryos

“…[we] reaffirm our abhorrence of elective abortion, our repudiation of research using embryos and fetuses from elective abortions, and our repugnance toward the exploitation of unborn human beings through the sale of their body parts; and…That we call upon our elected officials at every level to enforce existing laws against the sale of human fetal tissues and to take appropriate steps to stop the trafficking of baby body parts.” (Resolution on Human Fetal Tissue Trafficking, 2000)[13]
“…we call on Congress to enact federal legislation against providing human embryos for the purpose of experimentation, whether by tax funded or privately funded researchers.” (Resolution on Genetic Technology and Cloning, 1997)[14]

End of Life

Artificial Hydration & Nutrition

“… we oppose efforts to designate food and water as "extraordinary treatment," and urge that nutrition and hydration continue to be viewed as compassionate and ordinary medical care and humane treatment.” (Resolution on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 1992)[15]

Physician-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia

SBC is against physician-assisted suicide, but it encourages palliative care:

“We…affirm the biblical and Hippocratic prohibitions against assisted suicide; and…commend and encourage medical science in its efforts to improve pain management techniques, thus removing one major impetus toward assisted dying; and… we call upon physicians, nurses, hospice workers, individual Christians and local churches to make emotional, psychological, and spiritual care of suffering patients a priority, thereby relieving the sense of isolation and abandonment some dying patients feel; and…we vigorously denounce assisted suicide as an appropriate means of treating suffering.” (Resolution on Assisted Suicide, 1996)[16]
“we…affirm the biblical prohibition against the taking of innocent human life by another person, or oneself, through euthanasia or assisted suicide; and…That in light of the fact that the end of life may be painful, we urge scientists and physicians to continue their research into more effective pain management; and… we encourage hospitals, nursing care facilities, and hospices to increase their efforts to keep dying persons as comfortable as possible and call on Christians to help provide companionship and appropriate physical and spiritual ministry to persons who are dying; and…we reject as appropriate any action which, of itself or by intention, causes a person's death. (Resolution on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 1992)[17]


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