Posted by: adventlife | June 6, 2017

Have Adventists Moved Out of the Abortion Business? by Nic Samojluk

Abortion 4

In the last couple of decades I have provided ample evidence that the Adventist Church is still behind the abortion of innocent unborn children. Unfortunately, many among us are not convinced. Most of these doubters rely on an assertion made by Pastor Ted Wilson, the president of the General Conference, back on February 2011 in the City of Redlands. This is why I would like to start by analyzing his statement on said occasion.

Ted Wilson’s “Down to almost zero” statement

Ted Wilson in RedlandsHere is a paragraph from Spectrum’s report of what Wilson said on said occasion. This statement of his was in response to a question I publicly asked. Following the meeting, several individuals lined up for a chance to talk to the president. I was one of them, and you can see me waiting for my turn. I am the person standing next to him on his right side

“A man, referencing articles in the Washington Post about Adventists and abortions, inquired about the article’s veracity and called on the president to speak out against abortion. Wilson answered using “sanctity of life” nomenclature, and noted that while Adventists have officially stated that abortions are sometimes permissible in cases of incest, rape or abuse, Adventists do not perform abortions on demand.”


The words he used were slightly edited by the reporter. What I heard him saying I reconstructed to the best of my ability as: “Elective abortion in our Adventist hospitals are almost down to zero. Abortions are now performed inside abortion clinics.

The meaning of Wilson’s response

1.“Adventists have officially stated that abortions are sometimes permissible in cases of incest, rape or abuse”

This statement should convince any reasonable doubter that the Adventist leadership sees nothing wrong with allowing the physicians working in Adventist medical institutions to offer abortions when the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape

This is reminiscent of what we find in an Adventist document known as “Guidelines on Abortion.” Actually, said guidelines include two additional exceptions under which the killing of innocent unborn children is justifiable: physical malformations and when the pregnancy affects the mental health of the woman

This type of abortion policy would probably please Dianne Feinstein, the California Democratic U.S. Senator; Hillary Clinton, the former presidential candidate; and Cecile Richards, the Planned Parenthood CEO; all of them rabid defenders of abortion


2. “Elective abortion in our Adventist hospitals are almost down to zero.

Is this assertion correct? The problem is that there are competing definitions for the “elective abortions” phrase: the pro-abortion and the pro-life one. The liberal definition excludes from elective abortions those connected with rape, incest, malformation, and the mental health exception.

3.Abortions are now performed inside abortion clinics.”

This affirmation by President Wilson might explain the mystery surrounding the abortions performed inside Adventist medical facilities. We know for a fact that our Shady Grove Hospital in Mayland does have such a clinic, and Adventist official representatives are on record admitting that abortions services are offered by Adventist medical facilities:

“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. [Emphasis supplied]

“We understand that these are decisions made between a woman and her physician, and we do not interfere with that individual decision,” she said.”


My personal conversation with Ted Wilson

At the conclusion of the Redlands, California, meeting with President Ted Wilson, I personally talked with him regarding the abortion issue. I told him that I was on the verge of publishing my second book on abortion, and I did not want to misrepresent the facts to the Adventist public.

I asked him whether he would be willing to provide me some statistics confirming his assertion that elective abortions inside Adventist hospitals are “almost down to zero.” He was very kind and told me to write to Dr. Allan R. Handysides General Conference office.

I did follow his directive and wrote a letter to Dr. Handysides. I waited a month or two and wrote to him again. In my desperation, I wrote directly to Pastor Wilson, hoping that he might be able to help; I got no response, and I followed this up with another letter, and as you can already guess I received zero answer from him or his secretary. [Remember, this took place back in 2011. This is 2017, and I am still waiting.]

My 2011 letter to Dr. Handysides at the General Conference

Here is the letter I wrote to Dr. Allan R. Handysides:

“Dr. Allan R. Handysides

I spoke with President Ted Wilson this morning following the meeting held at the Redlands Adventist Church and I shared with him my predicament, and he suggested that I contact you regarding my need.

I am about to publish a book about abortion as it relates to the Adventist Church and I need some current statistics about the elective abortions that are still provided by our medical institutions. The information I was able to secure from Adventist and other sources might be a little bit outdated, and I don’t want the potential readers of my book to be misinformed about this issue. Here is the summary of the information about elective abortions I was able to find so far:

Castle Memorial Hospital started offering elective abortions back in 1970, following the legalization of abortion by the State of Hawaii. [George Gainer, “Abortion: History of Adventist Guidelines” Ministry (Aug. 1991): 11-17; George Gainer, “The Wisdom of Solomon” Spectrum 19/4 (May 1989): 38-46.

Washington Adventist Hospital performed 1494 therapeutic and elective abortions in a seven year period. [George Gainer, “The Wisdom of Solomon” Spectrum 19/4 (May 1989): 38-46.]

A 1988 survey revealed that five of our Adventist hospitals were offering elective abortion services to their patients. [Gerald R. Winslow, “Abortion Policies in Adventist Hospitals” Spectrum 19/4 (May 1989)]

As you can see, these statistics and information are rather outdated. Can you provide me with current data? Am I to assume that our hospitals are still offering elective abortion services to their patients? Do you have access to current abortion statistics?

A lack of updated information will leave the impression that the situation has not changed. I have written to the Washington Adventist Hospital and to the Loma Linda University requesting current data but have received no response to my request.

Your brother in Christ,

Nic Samojluk

Abortion statistics from a non-Adventist, public repository source

As I patiently waited for a response from the General Conference office, I discovered providentially a neutral non-Adventist source of abortion statistics: 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]

1992: 547
1993: 287 from January through June [half a year] which gives us an estimated 574/year
2006: 47
2007: 48
2009: 27
2010: 29

Abortion statistics help unravel the mystery

The abortion statistics I secured from the HSCRC source tells an interesting story. Notice that between 1993 2006 there was a significant drop in the number of abortions performed at our Washington Adventist Hospital. The logical conclusion is that this drop is probably due to the fact that, as Wilson indicated, the provision of abortion shifted from our WAH to health clinics.

You must have noticed that the number of abortions did not drop to “almost zero,” as Wilson stated. How can we explain this? And bear in mind that these statistics represent the number of abortions performed at only one Adventist hospital [WAH] and that the number of Adventist hospitals in the North American Division are more than 60.

If we multiply those figures by the number of hospitals we own, the result would be way above the “almost zero” estimated by Pastor Wilson. Of course, some of our hospitals may have offered no abortion services to their patients. Nevertheless, listen to what a reliable source opined regarding this:

“The net result of all this led M. C. Midkiff to make the following declaration: “I believe if you do a bit of research you will find that the majority of Adventist hospitals permit abortion on request.”


How to understand Wilson’s enigmatic “almost zero” affirmation

If we want to unravel Wilson’s enigmatic “almost zero” affirmation, we are faced with several alternatives:

  1. He was misinformed.
  2. He misrepresented the actual facts.
  3. He used the most liberal definition of the “elective abortions” phrase described above.

My guess is that the most likely alternative explanation for his mysterious affirmation matches the third option listed above.

My reasonable conclusion

Based on the numerous lines of evidence submitted above and the open admission by an authorized spokesperson for the church who stated the following back in 2009, I conclude that at least some of our Adventist medical facilities are still killing innocent unborn children with impunity and without a word of condemnation by the General Conference leaders.

“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.”


The therapeutic abortions lame excuse

Some hard-to-convince Adventists who are determined to ignore the fact related to this life and death issue have suggested that possibly all or most of the abortions currently taking place in our Adventist medical facilities are of the “therapeutic” kind.

So what those therapeutic abortions include? They include abortions connected with rape, incest, malformations, and the women’s mental health exceptions. This understanding of therapeutic abortions fit nicely with the most liberal definition of “elective abortions.”

Does this explanation satisfy the concerns of pro-life Adventists? The answer is NO. In the case of abortion connected with rape, the guilty rapist is allowed to live, while the innocent unborn baby is mercilessly executed. This violates the biblical teaching found in Ezekiel 18:20.

New International Version
”The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child.” [Ezekiel 18:20]

And the mental health abortion exception violates the same principle and God’s dictum found in Exodus 20 where we find the following commandment: “You shall not murder.” Murder is defined in my dictionary as the intentional killing of an innocent human being. The unborn is definitely a human being and is innocent of any wrongdoing.

Another lame excuse: “Those facts are outdated”

Holy Cross HospitalWhat happened with the Holy Cross vs Adventist Health controversy at Germantown? The permit to build another hospital was granted to the Holy Cross Catholic organization d the Adventist petition was denied.

This took place in 2011, merely six years ago. And Adventists were planning to appeal the decision.

“We’re hopeful, through the efforts of Adventist and many others in the community, that decision may be reversed or modified.”

In addition, I secured a more recent update confirming the fact that our Adventist Health System was still adhering to the “guidelines on abortion” approved by the General Conference Autumn Council back in 1992. I received said confirmation in 2016, less than a year ago.

Do you need more evidence than this? I don’t! Nevertheless, some recalcitrant pro-abortion Adventist are still not satisfied. To them I say: Get your own statistics and contrary facts. I have invested a couple of decades of my time and plenty of my scarce financial resources into this issue. I am satisfied with the result.




  1. Just wondering Nic, if you call an Adventists hospital and ask if they offer abortion services, what their response would be. Anything but a straight answer would suggest that they do.

    • Richard,

      Some years ago, I wrote to all the hospitals in the North American Division asking what their policy was regarding elective abortions. I got one response telling me that they did not offer abortion services to their patients.


      • I was curious about each hospitals level of openness regarding their abortion practices. For example, if an inquisitave Adventists calls an Adventists hospital and asks the receptionists at the information desk, “does the hospital provide abortion services”, would the receptionists answer directly or need to transfer them to another department for an answer. I realize each hospital may respond differently but there are not too many Adventists hospitals to make this survey difficult to accomplish. I suspect those hospitals that do provide abortion services do not share that information freely from their information desk, which may explain why so many Adventists do not believe their hospitals offer abortion procedures. Then again, I may be wrong and those Adventists claiming unbelief are really just apathetic or tolarant tward abortions and just claim disbelief to avoid controversy.

      • My survey was not based via telephone but in writing.


    • Richard,

      Not long ago, I wrote to the Adventist Health System asking them regarding their policy about elective abortions. Here is their reply:

      Adventist Health System Abortion Policy

      “Hi Nic –

      Regarding your request for our policy/practice regarding termination of pregnancy:
      Adventist Health System is dedicated to the preservation of life and the welfare of every human being that is cared for in our hospitals. When a situation requires the termination of pregnancy be considered, we follow the guidelines set forth by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

      And what do those guidelines say? They allow for abortions under a variety of circumstances including rape, incest, and when the unwanted pregnancy affects the mental health of the pregnant woman. The woman facing an unwanted pregnancy says to her physician: I cannot sleep nor concentrate on my work and studies, and a healthy unborn baby is sacrificed for the sake of lifestyle.

      Mental depression is temporary, while abortion is final and irreversible. The woman can recover in most cases from mental depression and even from rape, but the aborted baby has no such hope. The Bible condemns punishing a son for the sins of his father.


  2. The “guidelines” were specifically intended to allow every SDA to make whatever “choice” they felt open to enact regarding an unborn child. Because they are non-binding and suggestive in nature they do not require any SDA institution to avoid providing elective abortions for any reason. Therefore, any answer which simply refers to the “guidelines” is a non-sequituous answer. It’s a political ploy to intentionally reveal nothing to the question. Question: ”Are you doing abortions?” Answer: “We are following the guidelines.” Question: “Do the guidelines allow for elective abortions?” Answer: “You’ll need to read the guidelines.” Question: “But do you understand the guidelines to allow for abortion on demand?” Answer: “We follow the guidelines.”

    • Doug,

      What you describe accurately represents the truth. This has been my experience, ad it matches the experience of other Adventist pro-lifers who took the time to write to Adventist leaders.


  3. When I made the decision to leave Adventism more than 20 years ago, I was unaware of the SDA position on abortion, even though I worked for many years in Adventist hospitals. Had I known about it, I would have left the Church long before I did. How any born-again Christian in all good conscience can remain there is a complete mystery to me!

    • It is what the Bible describes as the “mystery of iniquity.”


      • The only mystery to the “mystery of iniquity ” found in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is why the translators of the KJV translated the Greek word “anomia” (G458) as “iniquity ” when the clear definition is “lawlessness”. There is no mystery to lawlessness that Yahushua did not bring to full light.
        John 3:19
        This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
        Matthew 24:12
        Because lawlessness [G458] is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

      • How do you explain the fact that a perfect angel like Lucifer decided to rebel against the One who created him?


  4. I can explain it no better than what scripture reveals. Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 14 that it was an “I problem” or selfish pride. Yahushua tells us it was a “love problem” or selfish pride again which is just a form of lawlessness.
    John 3:19
    This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men [following Satan] loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
    Even the heavenly beings had free will to choose. Satan and one third of them chose to love the deeds of darkness more than the light. I see no mistery in this. Satan had all the facts and chose self over the kingdom of YAHUAH. Adam did the same and so does most of mankind. I think Paul’s mystery of lawlessness was the deception that had people believing they were in good standing with YAHUAH even though His law proved otherwise – lawlessness.

    • Eve sinned because she listened to the lying serpent. Who tempted Lucifer to rebel? Ellen White stated that there is no logical explanation for Lucifer’s rebellion. This means that his illogical choice to rebel is a mystery.


      • That illogical choise may seem mysterious to some, but to me there is nothing mysterious about someone deliberately choosing to pursue personal gratification over selfless allegiance to righteousness. In fact, this behavior is probably the most common behavior exhibitated by humans on planet earth.

      • Humans are born with a predisposition towards selfishness and sinful behavior; Eve was perfect, and was deceived by the serpent; but Lucifer had no one to deceive him. He was the smartest being in heaven among the angels, yet he made a stupid choice. For me that is a mystery.


      • I don’t recall any scripture that says Lucifer was the “smartest” among the messengers in heaven. If you know of one please share. Eve was deceived but just like Satan, Adam wasn’t. Adam made a conscious illogical choise to follow Eve instead of YAHUAH. Satan made a conscious illogical choise to follow his desires. I see no mystery just weakness which is not a characteristic of perfection. Just like Adam, Satan was perfect until iniquity was found in him.

      • The following quote from Ellen White suggests that Lucifer’s rebellion could be described as a mystery:

        “The sin of Lucifer is unexplainable.” {Lt16a-1892.20}


      • The reason Lucifer purposfully chose to sin, to rebell against YAHUAH, is described in Isaiah 14. Now why (or if) he thought he could get away with his rebellion is a mystery. This question scripture does not directly answer. He was either deceived by self or others into believing he could prevail or he was just suicidal. Regardless of the reason, the fact remains:
        “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men [and Sayan] loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” – Yahushua teaching Nicodemus in John 3:19. I inserted [and Satan] because it is clear Satan loves the deeds of darkness more than the light. He is the Father (creator) of lies and has been a murderer from the beginning.

  5. Thank you again, Nic, for such an excellent article and for all the effort and time you have put in for the past 4 decades, trying to save the lives of the most innocent and helpless amongst us! You will someday be rewarded. The church on the other hadn’t, and especially the leaders will also receive their reward…and it isn’t going to be pretty!

    • Thanks, Tammy for your generous assessment of my ministry. May the Lord continue to bless you and Al!


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