Jim Wallis Calls for Change in Abortion Debate on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Urges New Common Ground Movement to Support Upcoming Abortion Reduction Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – January 22, 2009 — Jim Wallis, progressive evangelical leader, author of The Great Awakening and president of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the United States, issued the following statement in recognition of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the annual March To Life:

Some call this the March for Life day, others the Roe day. It has been a day that divides us.

Two days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, tens of thousands of people are again gathered on the National Mall. Today, they are here to witness to their belief in the sacredness of human life on the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade.

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On this day, may we re-affirm our commitment to that most basic human value of the sanctity of life—despite our deep differences over the legality of abortion.

On this day may we all pledge to change the polarized debate on abortion, to enter into a new conversation on abortion, and to seek a new common ground movement to dramatically reduce abortion as a step to which we can all agree.

President Obama has expressed his belief that "there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, 'We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby'."

Legislation has been introduced in Congress to enact some of these provisions, and more will follow. I invite both the pro-life and the pro-choice sides in our long-standing debate, to join in building that new common ground.

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