Religious Leaders Support Contraceptive Access for All

As religious leaders, we support universal access to contraception. We believe that all persons should be free to make personal decisions about their reproductive lives, their health and the health of their families that are informed by their culture, faith tradition, religious beliefs, conscience, and community.  We affirm, in accordance with each of our faith traditions, that ensuring equal access to contraceptives through insurance coverage is a moral good. Including contraceptives as a covered service does not require anyone to use it; excluding contraceptive coverage for those who choose to plan and space their families with modern methods of birth control will effectively translate into coercive childbearing for many.

We support social justice. We recognize the dignity and worth of each and every member of our communities—including those uniquely vulnerable to the effects of unequal access to healthcare due to race, class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or geography.

We support religious freedom.  Religious freedom means that each individual has the right to exercise their own beliefs and the right not to have others’ beliefs forced upon them.  We believe no employer has the right to deny the women who work for them basic health care. Individuals must have the right to accept or reject the principles of their own faith without legal restrictions.

No single religious voice can speak for all faith traditions on contraception, nor should government take sides on religious differences.  We call on our government to respect the beliefs and values of everyone’s faith by safeguarding equal access to contraception for those whose conscience leads them to use it.

Signed:

Rev. Geoffrey A. Black
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde
Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Rev. Dr. Nick Carter
President
Andover Newton Theological School

Rev. Richard Cizik
President
New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Emily Eastwood
Executive Director
Reconciling Works: Lutherans for Full Participation

Rabbi Marla J. Feldman
Executive Director
Women of Reform Judaism

Jim FitzGerald
Executive Director
Call To Action

Rev. Dr. Yvette A Flunder
Presiding Bishop
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy
President
Interfaith Alliance

Sr. Jeannine Gramick
Co-Convenor
National Coalition of American Nuns

Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson
Reformed Church in America

Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield
Chair
Religious Institute

Dr. Sharon Groves PhD
Director
Religion and Faith Program Human Rights Campaign

Rev. Debra W. Haffner
President
Religious Institute

Rabbi Debra Kolodny
Executive Director
Nehirim

The Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale
President and Dean
Episcopal Divinity School

Rev. Cedric Harmon
Co-Director
Many Voices

The Rev. Anne S. Howard
Executive Director
The Beatitudes Society

Dr. Mary E.  Hunt, Ph.D.
Director
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)

Rev. Dr. Serene Jones
President
Union Theological Seminary

Pamela Kandt
Co-Convener
Episcopal Women’s Caucus

Nancy K. Kaufman
CEO
National Council of Jewish Women

Rev. Harry Knox
President
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Chair
Network of Spiritual Progressives

Rev. Barry W. Lynn
Executive Director
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Alex Patchin McNeill
Executive Director
More Light Presbyterians

Rev. Peter Morales
President
Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Timothy Murphy, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Progressive Christians Uniting

The Rev. Jane Emma Newall
Former Chair
PP Clergy Advocacy Board

Jon O’Brien
President
Catholics for Choice

Rev. Terri Pilarski
Co-convener
Episcopal Women’s Caucus

Dr. Alton B.  Pollard, III Ph.D.
Dean
Howard University School of Divinity

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director
Methodist Federation for Social Action

Sr. Donna Quinn
Coordinator
National Coalition of American Nuns

Rev. Amanda Adams Riley
Co- Moderator
Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options (PCUSA)

Rabbi Dennis S.  Ross
Director
Concerned Clergy for Choice

Dr. Pernessa Seele
Founder & CEO
The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

Martha Shiverick
Chair
PPFA Clergy Action Board

Rev. Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers
Chair
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Sally Steenland
Director
Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative Center for American Progress

Javen Swanson
Interim Faith Work Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes
Dean
Vanderbilt Divinity School

Rabbi Arthur Waskow Ph.D.
Director
The Shalom Center

Rev. Nancy Wilson
Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

Nancy Hunt Wirth
Coordinator
Disciples for Choice
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Katey Zeh, M.Div
Project Director
Healthy Families, Healthy Planet General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church

Ani Zonneveld
Founder and President
Muslims for Progressive Values

*Organizations for Identification purposes only.

 

Posted in Social Statements.