A group of Protestant and Jewish religious leaders said yesterday they are dismayed that President Carter, who has met several times with members of the Roman Catholic heirarchy, has refused to meet wih them to discuss the abortion issue.
"Abortion is a critical issue which can become very divisive for this nation," the Rev. John T. Conner, moderator of the United Presbyterian Church told a news conference.
"It is incumbent upon the President to become knowledgeable about the theological and moral beliefs on abortion held by all the religious bodies in this country."
The Protestant and Jewish leaders seeking the Carter meeting represent 11 denominations, which are members of the Religous Coalition for Abortion Rights. They have been seeking the meeting with Carter since mid-summer.
The group opposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion. Such as amendment is strongly backed by the Catholic heirarchy, a position recently restated to Carter at a Sept. 22 meeting the President held with Archbishop Joseph L. Brenardin, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"Because abortion is basically a theological question, it must not become a matter of civil war," Conner told the press conference.
Conner said that Carter, during his campaign, promised to be "the President of all the American people."
"His consistent refusal to communicate with us while continuing to make himself available to the Catholic heirarchy indicates to us that in respect to this issue this was not a serious pledge," Conners said.