Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, The Center for American Progress released a public statement signed by the 19 faith leaders that comprise CAP’s Faith and Reproductive Leadership Institute on their continued support for women’s reproductive health and rights.
“We recognize that a woman’s decision to become a parent exists within a larger context,” the faith leaders said. “A host of factors—including her economic circumstance, access to health care and sex education, personal safety, housing situation, and support from family and community—shape her ability to flourish and fulfill her God-given potential as an individual and as a parent. We believe that faith communities—longstanding leaders in the fight for justice—should lead in the fight for reproductive justice.”
In the statement, the leaders also pledged to do their part to protect the progress that the last 40 years has brought and to continue to push for more progress toward reproductive justice by taking the following steps:
- Educating our communities about reproductive justice and engaging them in reproductive justice work
- Working for economic, environmental, health, immigrant, gender, and racial justice so that a woman who wants to be a parent may raise her child with dignity
- Standing up for women’s reproductive health as a religious and a moral issue
- Working to reduce inequities in our health care system that disproportionately affect low-income women and women of color
- Ensuring that all women, regardless of their economic circumstances, have access to safe and affordable abortion care
- Upholding the religious freedom on which our country was founded by protecting the individual right of conscience and opposing the codification of singular theological teachings on a pluralistic, democratic society
- Supporting policies that honor religious diversity and respect women’s decision making
“The connection between faith and reproductive justice is strong,” said Sally Steenland, Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at CAP. “The faith leaders in our Institute are stirred by compassion and justice to support women who are making deeply important decisions about whether to become a parent—decisions based on their own conscience and moral understanding.”
The 19 faith leaders who signed the public statement advocating for reproductive justice include:
- Urooj Arshad, Advocates for Youth, Washington, D.C.
- Rev. Elizabeth D. Barnum, Ordained United Church of Christ Minister, Barrington, RI
- Rev. Darcy Baxter, Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church, Hayward, CA
- Rev. Dr. Mariah Ann Britton, Moriah Institute, New York, NY
- Rev. Victoria J. Ferguson, Kindred Moxie, LLC., Atlanta, GA
- Lyndsey Godwin, Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, Nashville, TN
- Samantha O. Griffin, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Washington, D.C.
- Courtney J. Hoekstra, Presbyterian, Louisville, KY
- Rev. Heather Johnson, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Atlanta, GA
- Cathy Levy, Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Columbus, OH
- Kyle Meerkins, Pro-Choice Resources and Family Tree Clinic, Minneapolis, MN
- Dr. Sarah Morice Brubaker, Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, OK
- Rev. Lorena M. Parrish, Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York, NY
- Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters, Elon University, Elon, NC
- Dr. Caryn D. Riswold, Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL
- Rev. Madison T. Shockley II, Pilgrim United Church of Christ and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Carlsbad, CA
- Kacie Starr Triplett, former Alderwoman, St. Louis, MO
- Rev. Matthew Westfox, United Church of Christ, All Souls Bethlehem Church, Brooklyn, NY
- Katey Zeh, United Methodist, Cary, NC
Read the statement from the Faith and Reproductive Leadership Institute here.
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