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November 18

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Official policy of the United Methodist Church on abortion [1992]


QUOTE by Dorothy Dix.

Methodist Church's Abortion Policy

      This is the official policy of the United Methodist Church, from the Book of Discipline, 1988, the Social Principles Paragraph 71G. This policy is intact in the latest book, 1992.
      "Abortion - The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While Individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born. Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy. In continuity with past Christian teaching, we recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as means of gender selection. We call all Christians to a searching prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may warrant abortion. Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience. Therefore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel."

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B. 11-18-1825, Susan Lincoln Tolman Mills, educated at Mount Holyoke College, she used the training methods in a school in Hawaii where she taught with her husband. Back in California, the couple opened a school that became Mills College, again using the Mount Holyoke philosophy as well as several of its teachers. At her husband's death in 1884 she was principal and for a time acting president. She was finally named president (after two male presidents) in 1890.
      Mills was the first woman's college on the west coast and under her guidance it became one of the major colleges of the nation. In 1991 an effort to convert it to admit men was defeated by the students and it continues to be an all-woman college.

B. 11-18-1857, Rose M. Knox, within seven years of taking over the management of the Knox Gelatine Company, developed it into a multi-million-dollar firm. On the first day of her management following her husband's death, she locked the back door and ordered everyone from president to janitor to use the front door. She managed the business for more than 40 years, changed its emphasis to nutrition, and made it a real money-maker. Her management style was pro-worker and layoffs were unheard of.

B. 11-18-1870 (1861?), Dorothy Dix, (Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer), called a "sob sister," which when translated into non-sexist language meant she was a superlative reporter and writer of features and could get anyone to give her an interview. Later in her life she became an advice columnist whose fame outranks even the Ann and Abbey duo of today. Her column drew 2,000 letters a week. Raised to be an ornament in the upper classes, she had to earn a living when her husband became seriously mentally ill. Her secretary and close friend was Ella Bentley Arthur.

B. 11-18-1871, Jessie Bonstelle, developed the Detroit Civic Theatre during her noted career of directing, managing, and producing plays.

B. 11-18-1888, Frances Marion, screenwriter, novelist, director who at her peak earned $17,000 a week as a Hollywood screen writer, writing the original Stella Dallas and winning academy awards for The Big House (1930) and The Champ (1931). In all she wrote more than a hundred film scripts.

Event 11-18-1992, the growing schism in the U.S. Catholic Bishops' ranks was evident when for the first time in history, a proposed pastoral letter failed to receive the necessary votes. The letter on the role of women in the church had started off nine years before as favoring women as priests but after Pope John Paul II's intervention, it was changed to an ultra- conservative viewpoint. It then underwent a number of additional changes before falling short of ratification.

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      "Being a woman has always been the most arduous profession any human being could follow."
            -- Dorothy Dix, advice columnist.

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