The April 2nd Forum will engage in discernment of an appropriate statement on Reproductive Health Care. This discussion will focus our response to the following request from Friends Committee on National Legislation.

“From its inception, Friends Committee on National Legislation has relied on meetings and churches to ground our work in the concerns of Friends. We invite you to engage your meeting or church in worship and discernment about this issue. Your discernment will guide the Policy Committee as they develop a recommendation for the General Committee to consider at its November 2023 meeting.

FCNL’s Policy Statement, The World We Seek, serves as our foundational document, outlining FCNL’s broad policy positions.

The statement currently reads:
III.2.6: Health Care. Universal access to affordable, effective, comprehensive health care is a right and is necessary to allow all people to fulfill their potential. Comprehensive health care includes primary, acute, and long-term care, including prescription drugs, as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment. To ensure access, health services should be provided where an individual’s needs can best be met. Our country can only maintain and improve the physical and mental health of its population with affordable health care that covers the entire life span, from prenatal to end-of-life care. Public health services, which protect us all, require robust federal support.

III.2.7. NOTE: Members of the Society of Friends are not in unity on abortion issues. Therefore, FCNL takes no position and does not act either for or against abortion legislation. On occasion, FCNL may appeal to lawmakers not to use the abortion debate to paralyze action on other legislation.”

FCNL’s Policy Committee invites your Quaker discernment group to focus on the issue of reproductive health care, including abortion, and advise us on whether FCNL should revise our policy statement.

Queries and structure to support discernment:

• What does reproductive health care look like in the world that you and your community seek?

• How are the Quaker values and testimonies relevant to the issue of abortion?

• Should the FCNL Policy Statement be revised on the issues of abortion and reproductive health and abortion?

• If so, what should the Policy Statement say?”