Should we Dare to Rock the Boat?
Sometimes it is hard and almost impossible to separate facts from fiction. This is because of the following factors: The public quite often does not have access to the facts, and leaders are sometimes reluctant to rock the boat.
This reminds me of the following anecdote: We were in Sabbath School, and a former president of Andrews University was talking about the alleged two stories of creation found in the book of Genesis. A former student of his raised his hand and asked: “How come you never said a word about this when I was your student at Andrews?” The man responded with the following explanation: “I didn’t want to rock the boat.”
Since I am not a church employee, I am ready to rock the boat without the fear of loosing my job or my retirement benefits. Actually, I have been trying to rock the boat for the last couple of decades, but I discovered that the boat is quite heavy, and I seem unable to rock it without the help of others.
The Adventist Church is Pro-life! Fact or Fiction?
Back in 2005, Jan Paulsen, our former General Conference president, made a public statement which was reported as follows: “The Adventists, according to Paulsen, are pro-life and definitely against abortion.” Is this a fact or rather fiction? Are Adventist really pro-life? Are we “definitively against abortion”? Can we take his statement to the bank and cash it? It took me several years and a doctoral dissertation about this topic to figure this out.
In theory the statement is true, since our “Guidelines on Abortion” do state that the “Abortions for reasons of birth control, gender selection, or convenience are not condoned by the Church,” but in practice the statement is false, because our church allowed our Adventist medical institutions to provide elective abortions with impunity for their patients since 1970—three years before the practice was legalized in the rest of the country.
This fact was well documented by Adventist historian George Gainer. How can we claim to be pro-life with a straight face if we have been profiting from the killing of innocent human beings for four decades. What benefit do the unborn babies get from knowing that we claim to be pro-life, when in actual practice these poor victims are still loosing their lives inside our hospitals and clinics? This is reminiscent of what Pilate did: He declared that Jesus Christ was innocent, yet he condemned him to death.
Elective Abortions in SDA Hospitals are Almost Zero! Fact or Fiction?
When Ted Wilson, the current president of the General Conference [GC] of Seventh-day Adventists, came to California in February 2011, I asked him about elective abortions. He publicly responded that the church did not condone said type of abortions and that elective abortion in Adventists hospitals are almost down to zero. Is this a fact or fiction? It took me two years to figure this out, and I think that I have the right answer now for this question.
Can Wilson support his claim with statistics? I don’t think he can, although there is an element of truth in what he said. I did personally ask him to provide me with statistics in support of his incredible declaration. He advised me to write to Dr. Handysides, which I did immediately. That was two and half years ago and I am still waiting for a response. Several follow up letters to both of them were met with absolute silence.
This kind of stonewalling by the Adventist leadership prompted me to search for statistics from other sources, which providentially led me to the “Health Services Cost Review Commission,” [HSCRC] a State of Maryland agency charged with the responsibility of acting as a repository of hospital data and the services they provide to the public. From said source I was able to secure statistics for two Adventist hospitals, but I want to focus on one of them for which statistics are available from other sources.
Abortion Statistics for our Washington Adventist Hospital [WAH]
1975-1982: 1492, which is equivalent to 213 per year
1993: 287 from January through June [half a year] which gives us an estimated 574/year
I wish I had more comprehensive statistics not only for our WAH but for all the other Adventist hospitals in North America which number around sixty. Such statistics are expensive, and I do not have the funds to secure them. Nevertheless, they tell quite an interesting story about what has taken place. You will quickly notice that the number of abortions at the WAH have decreased significantly during the previous decade.
What is the explanation? The clue was provided by something Ted Wilson said back in 2011 at the Redlands meeting with Adventist retirees. He said that elective abortions in Adventist hospitals are almost zero because abortions are now handled by abortions clinics. At first I thought that he was referring to non-Adventist clinics, but recently I discovered that he meant both Adventist and non-Adventist abortion clinics. But even with this discovery, as we can see, the number of abortions performed by our Adventist hospitals are not “almost down to zero.”
Other Adventist Hospitals that Offered Abortion Services to their Patients
And we need to remember that the above incomplete statistics I was able to secure belong to only one Adventist hospital, and we have approximately 60 of them in North America. Here is a list of other Adventist hospitals that did offer abortion services to their patients back in 1986. More recent figures are not available because there was a change of reporting following the publication of George Gainer article dealing with abortion in Adventist institutions.
“Castle Medical Center, Hadley Memorial Hospital, Hanford Community Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Porter Memorial Hospital, Port land Adventist Medical Center, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Sierra Vista Hospital, Walla Walla General Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, and White Memorial Medical Center.” 
Adventists are Getting Out of the Abortion Business! Fact or Fiction?
This leads us to the final question I want to address here: Are Adventist getting out of the abortion business? If we were, would the La Sierra University be naming a section of its new buildings in honor of the most prolific abortionist in California—Dr. Edward Allred? The hard evidence seems to suggest the opposite.
A few years ago, when our Adventist Healthcare system was competing with a Catholic hospital system for the permit to build a new hospital in Maryland, our Adventist representative argued that the permit should be granted to Adventist because we offer abortion as one of the services to the community. Here is the evidence:
A Stunning Declaration by a Health Care Representative
If you are still under the impression that Adventists are getting out of the abortion business, read the following story entitled “Women’s groups: Holy Cross falls short with health services” published by Gazette.Net:
“Adventist HealthCare also runs a primary-care clinic for the uninsured in Shady Grove Adventist Hospital’s Germantown emergency center. The clinic now has a pre- and post-natal department for uninsured patients that provides family planning, according to Washington Adventist Hospital’s spokeswoman Lydia Parris.
Adventist HealthCare is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which has no religious policies governing health care. Adventist hospitals perform abortions and provide a full range of reproductive care, Parris said.
“We understand that these are decisions made between a woman and her physician, and we do not interfere with that individual decision,” she said. …” 
Other Publisher’s Confirmation of the Gazette.Net Story
“It is our understanding that Adventist Hospital currently provides the full range of health care services at its facilities, in accordance with medically-accepted standards of care. In contrast, any facility owned by Holy Cross will limit its patients’ access to services. This is because Holy Cross hospitals are operated under The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services (Directives) …
While Adventist Healthcare is religiously-sponsored as well, its proposed hospital would not burden the public by restricting certain services. Instead Adventist promises to offer a full range of services to the Montgomery County community. …”
“Reproductive health advocates across the country have raised concerns about religious directives that prevent Catholic hospitals from providing a variety of services, including fertility treatments, abortions, tubal ligations and hormonal contraception. Several women’s groups say that because of those restrictions, the Holy Cross proposal would undermine public health priorities. …” 
Most Adventists are not aware of these undeniable facts, and many of those who are react to them with a yawn. I believe that our church decision to profit from the killing of innocent unborn children tends to neutralize the mission of the Remnant Church.
We used to be known as those who kept all Ten of God’s Commandments while the rest of Christianity kept only Nine. By redefining the original and true meaning of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue, and by offering abortion services to our patients, we have become like the rest of the world.
I used to give Bible studies to Catholics. I can no longer do that with a straight face. If I did that today, a Catholic would ask: “What is worse, worshipping God on the wrong day of the week or killing innocent human beings for filthy profit?”
This is why I am convinced that we do need to rock the boat. Our ship has hit a moral iceberg and we need to sound the alarm. If we continue in this spiritual slumber, our boat will surely sink like the Titanic. Time is of the essence! Will you join me in this sacred mission? I cannot do this alone. I know of half a dozen Adventists who share my concern, but we need hundreds where there is only a handful right now!
 “Adventists laud Pope for concern on world peace, poverty and family,” Adventist News Dispatch/Southern Asia-Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (11 Mar. 2005).
 “From Pro-life to Pro Choice”
 George Gainer, The Wisdom of Solomon? Spectrum 19/4 (May 1989): 38-46.
 George Gainer, The Wisdom of Solomon? Spectrum 19/4 (May 1989): 38-46.