Since it will get lost in the post. A religion that acknowledges the need for abortion
A reader writes in, "What is the Church's view on abortion? Is it totally against the pro-choice stance?"
Official statements of The Episcopal Church are made in the form of legislation passed by both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops during the Triennial General Convention. Two such statements on abortion are:
"All human life is sacred from its inception until death. The Church takes seriously its obligation to help form the consciences of its members concerning this sacredness....We regard all abortion as having a tragic dimension, calling for the concern and compassion of all the Christian community. While we acknowledge that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion, as Christians we believe strongly that if this right is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations. We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience."-69th General Convention 1998
"Resolved, That this 71st General Convention (1994) of the Episcopal Church express its unequivocal opposition to any legislative, executive or judicial action on the part of local, state or nation governments that abridges the right of a woman to reach an informed decision about the termination of pregnancy or that would limit the access of a woman to safe means of acting on her decision."-71st General Convention 1994
I think an honest way of framing The Episcopal Church's response to the issue of abortion is that the church acknowledges the loss made whenever a decision for an abortion is made, while also acknowledging that there may be circumstances where this loss is the greater good. But taking the statement "All human life is sacred from its inception until death" seriously does not only allow room for abortions, it might even necessitate the decision for an abortion in some cases.
Rather than outlining specifics, The Episcopal Church has voted strong opposition to any abridgment to a woman's access to a safe means of terminating pregnancy. The Episcopal Church wants means of legal abortion to continue while working to encourage conditions which would make abortions a less frequent occurrence. Though the fact that The Episcopal Church is regularly identified as being pro-choice is accurate, it would be a misstatement to suggest that TEC is "in favor of abortions" or "promoting abortion." Rather, in regard to this issue, we seek to promote the sacredness of human life.
While the Episcopal Church recognizes a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy, the church condones abortion only in cases of rape or incest, cases in which a mother's physical or mental health is at risk, or cases involving fetal abnormalities. The church forbids "abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection or any reason of mere convenience."
The Archives of the Episcopal Church, The Acts of Convention 1976-2009, 16 abortion-related resolutions
Episcopal News Service, "Episcopalians show support for reproductive freedom at march" (April 27, 2004)