On behalf of the General Committee, the Policy Committee is seeking the help of Friends in discerning what FCNL should say about reproductive health care in its policy statement.
FCNL’s Policy Statement, The World We Seek, serves as our foundational document, outlining FCNL’s broad policy positions.
Section III.2.7 of The World We Seek states that since Friends are not in unity on abortion issues, “FCNL takes no position and does not act either for or against abortion legislation.”
After the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, the Policy Committee of FCNL’s General Committee heard concern from Friends around the country about FCNL’s lack of position on the issue of abortion.
Process for Discerning what FCNL Should Say About Reproductive Health Care in its Policy Statement
From its inception, the Friends Committee on National Legislation has relied on meetings and churches to ground our work in the concerns of Friends.
In early 2023, the Policy Committee invited Friends to engage their meeting or church in worship and discernment about this issue. We received more than 300 responses, which have guided the Policy Committee as they seek to develop a recommendation for the General Committee to consider at its November 2023 Annual Meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to my group’s discernment after I submitted it?
The FCNL Policy Committee, a working group of the General Committee, read all the responses and met to consider what the more than 300 meetings, churches, groups, and individuals are telling FCNL regarding reproductive health and abortion. The responses were overwhelmingly consistent in the ways Friends wanted to see FCNL’s policy change. The Policy Committee drafted language to reflect what was heard. In summer 2023, they released draft language and will hold listening sessions with the General Committee.
The Policy Committee will meet in September to consider the feedback they receive from General Committee members during the listening sessions. They will make further revisions to the proposed language and share that in advance of FCNL’s Annual Meeting.
Around Annual Meeting, Friends will have additional time to weigh in on the newly revised proposed language.
The Policy Committee will make further revisions and bring its recommendation to the FCNL General Committee during its Annual Meeting in Nov. 15-19, 2023.
Throughout the process, the discernment by Friends across the country remains at the center of the committee’s consideration.
What Will Change and What Will Not:
The draft language is intended to update FCNL’s legislative policy statement, The World We Seek. It is not intended to shift the legislative priorities that guide the work of FCNL’s staff in the 118th Congress. Changing FCNL’s policy statement does not mean that FCNL staff will immediately start lobbying on this issue. Instead, this change would open up what FCNL can say on matters of reproductive health care and abortion now and in the future.
I Have a Question
If you have additional questions, contact Policy Committee members at email@example.com
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