45 National Religious Leaders Stand With Planned Parenthood

September 28, 2015—Today, 45 nationally recognized religious leaders released a joint statement supporting Planned Parenthood and urging Congress to resist efforts to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood’s health centers – which serve 2.7 million people each year. Together, these Protestant, Jewish, Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, and Muslim leaders agreed:

As religious leaders, we urge Congress to resist efforts to deny federal funds to Planned Parenthood’s non-profit health centers that provide crucial reproductive health care. We ask for an end to politically motivated attacks on women’s sexual and reproductive health. We know that Planned Parenthood provides essential lifesaving services to almost three million people each year, including the most vulnerable families in the U.S. As religious leaders, we support family planning as a means of saving lives, improving reproductive and public health, enhancing sexuality, and encouraging intentional parenthood. We stand with people of faith who have supported Planned Parenthood for nearly one hundred years.”

Endorsing faith leaders include presidents of national denominations and national clergy associations including the Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer (United Church of Christ), Rabbi Denise Eger (Central Conference of American Rabbis), Rabbi Rick Jacobs (Union for Reform Judaism), the Rev. Peter Morales (Unitarian Universalist Association), the Rev. Dr. Yvette A. Flunder (The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries) the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins (Christian Church-Disciples of Christ) and the Reverend Nancy Wilson, (Metropolitan Community Churches); and the heads of more than twenty-five national religious organizations, the National Coalition of American Nuns (Sister Jeannine Gramick), American Jewish World Service (Ruth W. Messinger), Methodist Federation for Social Action (Chett Pritchett), the Episcopal Women’s Caucus (the Rev. Pamela Kandt), the National Council of Jewish Women (Nancy K. Kaufman), and Muslims for Progressive Values (Ani Zonneveld).

More than 2150 clergy from across the United States have signed a national faith petition to “Stand with Planned Parenthood.” Their names will be delivered to Congress on Tuesday.

“It is a myth that people of faith don’t support family planning,” said Reverend Debra W. Haffner, President of the Religious Institute, which coordinated the letter and the endorsement effort. “Most Jewish movement and Protestant denominations have had policies supporting family planning for decades. It is precisely because as faith leaders we know that life is sacred, that we believe that every woman must be able to plan her pregnancies intentionally without governmental interference and that we support Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its health centers.  The theological diversity of those who endorsed today’s statement is further evidence of widespread faith support for Planned Parenthood.  We pray the Congress is listening.”

The full text of the statement and its endorsers can be found at http://religiousinstitute.org/faithleaders4pp

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The Religious Institute (www.religiousinstitute.org), based in Westport, CT, is a nonprofit, multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society. More than 8,500 clergy, seminary presidents and deans, religious scholars and other religious leaders representing more than 50 faith traditions are part of the Religious Institute’s national religious leaders network.

See more at http://religiousinstitute.org/faith4pp

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