Author: Beard, Mary K.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers the elective termination of pregnancy "one of the most sinful practices of this day" (General Handbook of Instructions, 11-4), although not necessarily murder. The Lord has said, "Thou shalt not kill, nor do anything like unto it" (D&C 59:6; emphasis added in Packer, p. 85).
Members of the Church must not "submit to, be a party to, or perform an abortion" (General Handbook, 11-4). The only exceptions are where "incest or rape was involved, or where competent medical authorities certify that the life of the mother is in jeopardy, or that a severely defective fetus cannot survive birth" (Packer, p. 85). Even these exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Church members are counseled that they should consider abortion in such cases only after consulting with their bishop and receiving divine confirmation through prayer.
"Church members who encourage, perform, or submit to an abortion are subject to Church discipline as appropriate" to help them repent (General Handbook, 11-4). As far as has been revealed, the sin of abortion is one for which a person may repent and gain forgiveness (General Handbook, 11-4; Packer, p. 86).
General Handbook of Instructions. Salt Lake City, 1989.
MARY K. BEARD