Religious Groups Want Reproductive Health Care Preserved


WASHINGTON --- Reverend Dr. Carlton W. Veazey (left), President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, today presented Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders with an RCRC statement endorsed by religious leaders representing millions of Americans, urging Congress to preserve the current standard of reproductive health care – including abortion services – in any health care reform legislation.

“The voices of moderate and mainstream religious leaders have been drowned out by
the massive misinformation campaign conducted by Washington lobbying institutions such as the Council of Catholic bishops, National Right to Life, and the Family Research Council,” said Reverend Veazey. “The RCRC statement represents the views of clergy who are denomination heads, theologians, and leaders of religious organizations and whose traditions support access to the full range of reproductive health services. They are speaking out for a health care system that is inclusive and respectful of diverse religious beliefs and decisions regarding childbearing.”

Those endorsing the RCRC statement include:Reverend John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ; Reverend Peter Morales, President,
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations; Rabbi Jeffrey A. Wohlberg, President of The Rabbinical Assembly; Rosanne M. Selfon, President of Women of Reform Judaism; The Very Reverend Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, President and Dean, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA; Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III, Dean of Howard University School of Divinity, Washington DC (affiliation for identification purposes only); and Reverend Dr. Ken Brooker Langston, Director, Disciples Justice Action Network (Disciples of Christ).

Many of those endorsing the statement acted because of their concern for the poor
and communities of color, which will bear the brunt of further restrictions on comprehensive reproductive health care. Currently, a low-income woman is four times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy and five times as likely to have an unintended birth as her higher income counterpart.

The statement concludes: “A health care system that serves all persons with dignity
and equality will include comprehensive reproductive health services.”

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is the national interfaith
coalition of denominations and traditions with official positions and
statements in support of reproductive choice and safe, legal abortion services.

Major faith organizations – including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian
Church (USA), United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ, and Union of Reform Judaism - have long supported reproductive choice on religious grounds.

In keeping with our nation's constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, they oppose civil laws that would impose specific religious views about abortion on all Americans.


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