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Mormon Family
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the family is central to life and that children and parents are bound together to help each other throughout life. Because family is such an important part of LDS doctrine and culture, abortion or adoption can create unique concerns and questions within the LDS community. One of the controversial issues of the day centers around the practice of abortion.

Elder Monte J. Brough has given counsel on the subject:

Upon learning that sexual activity outside of marriage has resulted in pregnancy, a young woman has four choices: marrying, not marrying but keeping the child, having an abortion, or placing the child for adoption. It is important to examine these four choices in light of information from various medical studies and in light of the teachings of the leaders of the Church” [1] Monte J. Brough, “Guidance for Unwed Parents,” Ensign, Sept. 1994, 19.]

Having chosen to act in such a way that a conception has occurred, the choice cannot be undone. The choice was made to act, and the consequence involves a minimum of three lives. In or out of marriage, abortion therefore, is not an individual choice.

In view of today's common practice of abortion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) takes a firm stand opposing elective abortion. For more than a century, the First Presidency of the Mormon Church has warned against this evil. They have repeatedly counseled both members and non-members to not be a part of this devastating practice. This includes submitting to, performing, encouraging, paying for, or arranging for an abortion. If any member has encouraged an abortion in any way, he/she can be subject to Church discipline. One of the Lord's greatest commandments reads: "Thou shalt not…kill, nor do anything like unto it." (Doctrine and Covenants 59:6)

President Spencer W. Kimball said,

Abortion, the taking of life, is one of the most grievous of sins. We have repeatedly affirmed the position of the Church in unalterably opposing all abortions, except in two rare instances: When conception is the result of forcible rape and when competent medical counsel indicates that a mother’s health would otherwise be seriously jeopardized [1] The Church maintains this stance thirty years later. Even when one of the rare extenuating circumstances arises, the Church counsels women that abortion is still a gravely serious matter which should be considered only after having consulted with local church leaders and after fervently praying to know if the decision is correct.

"When a child is conceived out of wedlock, the best option is for the mother and father of the child to marry and work toward establishing an eternal family relationship. If a successful marriage is unlikely, they should place the child for adoption."

"True to the Faith", 2004, p.4-5

The Church encourages unwed mothers who are members of the Church to place their newborns with couples who can offer a stable home with both mother and father present, and also the opportunity for temple sealing to the adoptive parents. The Church has its own adoption service to help unwed mothers as well as childless couples. [2]

There is a "war that claims more casualties annually than did World War I and World War II combined. Worldwide reports indicate that more than 40 million abortions are performed per year. This war called abortion is a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn. This war is being waged globally. Ironically, civilized societies that have generally placed safeguards on human life have now passed laws that sanction this practice. Even before the fulness of the gospel was restored, enlightened individuals understood the sanctity of human life. John Calvin, a sixteenth-century reformer, wrote, 'If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, … it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.'
"Concern for the health of the mother is a vital one. But circumstances in which the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life of the mother are very rare, particularly where modern medical care is available. Another concern applies to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. This tragedy is compounded because an innocent woman’s freedom of choice was denied. In these circumstances, abortion is sometimes considered advisable to preserve the physical and mental health of the mother. Abortions for these reasons are also rare. Some argue for abortion because of fear that a child may have a congenital malformation. Surely the harmful effects of certain infectious or toxic agents in the first trimester of pregnancy are real, but caution is needed in considering the termination of a pregnancy. Life has great value for all, including those born with disabilities. Furthermore, the outcome may not be as serious as postulated.
"Most abortions are performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies. These abortions are simply a form of birth control. Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences. To understand this concept more clearly, we can learn from the astronaut. Anytime during selection or preparation, he or she is free to withdraw from the program. But once the spacecraft has lifted off, the astronaut is bound to the consequences of the previous choice to make the journey. So it is with people who choose to embark on a journey that leads to parenthood. They have freedom of choice—to begin or not to begin that course. When conception does occur, that choice has already been made. Yes, a woman is free to choose what she will do with her body. Whether her choice leads to an astronaut’s mission or to a baby, her choice to begin the journey binds her to the consequences of that choice. She cannot 'unchoose.'
"When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life—and a lifetime of choices that her child would make." The LDS Perspective on Abortion, quoted from Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless, Russell M. Nelson, Ensign -- October 2008, 32–37

A prophetic message from late Apostle Neal A. Maxwell


  1. Spencer W. Kimball, "A Report and a Challenge," Ensign, November 1976, p.4.

Also see