This is the season of the year when Salvation Army volunteers are on the streets and outside stores ringing their bells to encourage donors to fill their red kettles with money for the poor. The longtime Christian organization provides food, shelter, elderly services, disaster relief, prisoner rehabilitation and many other forms of aid.

But it also has adopted a position statement that is a step toward abortion, and pro-life leaders are expressing alarm at what they see developing.

In its statement on abortion, the Salvation Army says: “A number of biblical and theological principles underpin The Salvation Army’s position on abortion. …

“The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of human life. Humankind was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). All people – without exception – are of value to him, holding a special place in his creation (Psalm 8:5), irrespective of age, gender, race, religion, health or social status, or their potential for achievement.”

But it also states, “A serious commitment to the protection and care of the unborn calls us to a commitment to the prevention of unwanted pregnancy through means such as access to reliable birth control, safety in relationships, and societal respect of women.”

Specifically, it says the Salvation Army “believes that termination [abortion] can occur only when carrying the pregnancy further seriously threatens the life of the mother; or reliable diagnostic procedures have identified a foetal abnormality considered incompatible with survival for more than a very brief post natal period.”

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