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This consistent assault on women is not only immoral, it is a clear rebuke of God’s requirement for people of faith.

Across religious texts, the word of God is clear: love your neighbor and care for the sick and vulnerable among you. President Trump’s decision on Friday to open the door to employers to impose a so-called “religious” refusal of covering birth control affirms that this administration’s consistent assault on women is not only immoral, it is a clear rebuke of God’s requirement for people of faith.

The sweeping guidance provides a license to discriminate against women and anyone who uses birth control. Additional federal guidance was released on Friday requiring every federal agency to allow all religiously affiliated contractors and grantees to require their employees to adhere to the tenets of their faith.

This allows for federal contractors to discriminate against and/or terminate someone who doesn’t regularly attend religious services, is in a same-sex marriage, undergoes a gender transition, gets divorced, or is pregnant and unmarried.

We should all be deeply troubled by the Trump administration’s attempt to use faith as a wedge to curtail access to reproductive health care and embolden discrimination against LGBTQ people.

As clergy members who support access to reproductive health care – including birth control – we embrace the truth in faith alongside the truth in medical science. Households and families should be allowed to benefit from advances in modern day health care – contraception included – without fear that their bosses can take away that access.

This attack is the latest example of a sustained campaign to impose negative and narrowly held religious perspectives into the private lives of Americans.

Our various faith traditions bring us to teach that the Divine Presence enters and blesses all our relationships, separate and apart from our becoming parents. We affirm that God graces each of us with a conscience that includes the capacity to set the course of our lives and families. All this speaks to why, from the earliest days of the family planning movement in the United States, clergy from a wide spectrum of faiths have embraced family planning as a moral good.

Too many families today are facing financial challenges and crises. Every person should have the religious freedom and freedom of conscience to choose and consistently use the contraception that works best for them.”

Religious leaders from a spectrum of faiths and denominations, called to serve as pastors to people making medical decisions. That is why we are calling on clergy and people of faith to speak up and affirm that a woman’s health care is between her and her doctor.

Politicians have no place in these private conversations.

 

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