As religious leaders and people of faith, we give thanks for the compassionate health care Planned Parenthood provides.
Planned Parenthood is an integral part of our health care system, providing access to reproductive and preventative health care to people of all ages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs. Responding to the deepest calling of our faiths, we urge Congress to abandon all attempts to deny federal funds for Planned Parenthood and to make a public commitment to comprehensive, affordable, and accessible reproductive health care.
It is our belief that Planned Parenthood does sacred work.
But we know that many who oppose Planned Parenthood also find justification in religion. People of faith must be the first to speak out when religion is used to harm others, burden them with shame, deny them control of their bodies, and undermine their consciences. We take up the sacred task of resistance and proclaim that using one’s religious beliefs to deny health care to millions of people is unjust and immoral. We believe that justice, radical inclusion, moral autonomy, and care for the vulnerable must have the final say.
This is what it means to love our neighbors.
Our neighbors look to Planned Parenthood health centers for care. Approximately 1 in 5 women rely on Planned Parenthood for health care. Each year, Planned Parenthood serves 2.5 million people. Nearly half of Planned Parenthood’s patients are people of color, and many live in rural areas. If patients are blocked from accessing care at Planned Parenthood, many will have nowhere else to turn. Denying health care to people who need it directly contradicts the call of our faiths to care for those in need and side with the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable.
For the millions of patients who depend on their clinics for access to reproductive health care, family planning, and sexuality education, Planned Parenthood helps create healthier communities that are more just and equitable.
We see politicians’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood for what they are: attempts at undermining individuals’ moral agency and their ability to make personal health decisions, including whether and when to become parents. In the face of these attacks, we, as people of faith, stand with the patients and health care providers of Planned Parenthood. We affirm the moral agency of Planned Parenthood’s patients and their moral authority to make reproductive decisions. Rooted in our commitment to love our neighbor, work for justice, and care for those in need, we will not allow the misuse of religion or the politics of division to deny health care and promote injustice in our communities.