Attorney James Standish, former executive director of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and a practicing Seventh-day Adventist, who recently adopted a child has written in favor of life-affirming changes to the church's internal guidelines on abortion. His essay, "Communists' Confessions: What Adventists Can Learn About Abortion from China",  was published by the blog, The Compass Magazine, on October 7, 2019.

In short, Standish argues that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a moral and theological duty to more clearly address the issue of abortion and points to the social consequences of large-scale sex-selective abortions in some parts of the world.

He writes, "The abortion industry in the United States has killed over 60 million young Americans since 1974. Globally, it's estimated there are 50 to 60 million young human beings killed every year through abortion. As Stalin is reported to have said, "One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." The rivers of human blood. The suffering of those little innocent babies. The beautiful, talented, remarkable people we have lost in this brutality. All of that may not move us. But maybe one consequence will: The missing girls. According to the UN, there are in the range of 126 million missing girls. Why? Because with the advent of sonograms, parents who prefer boys can now use abortion to kill baby girls before they are born. Think through everything you know about God and ask how anyone who believes in the God of the Bible can support this slaughter of baby girls."

"I certainly can't. Because one day I know I am going to be standing at the judgment seat of a Righteous God who lovingly knit together every one of those precious baby girls. Each one just as precious to God as my own daughters are to me. There's a time coming when it isn't the respect of a degenerate society I'll be craving, but the grace of a God who gave the most graphic warning to anyone who offends a child. (See Matthew 18:6).  Silence in the face of evil is approval. I have chosen not to be silent. I hope you will choose not to be silent too. And I am praying my church will rediscover the voice of our founders and not only stand up for the Sabbath, but for human beings created in God's image for whom the Sabbath was created in the first place (Mark 2:27)."

The full essay is available online at

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is expected to address the issue of abortion at its Annual Council held in Silver Spring, Maryland, early next week.


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