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Open Letter: Faith Leaders on Reproductive Freedom

As New Jersey faith leaders from many religious traditions, we affirm our faith-informed support of policies that ensure equitable access to comprehensive reproductive health care. We have a particular focus on addressing the atrocities in Black maternal health, which are literally killing Black mothers and babies at an alarming rate. Our alliance stands firmly to denounce the systemic racism plaguing this country, that has infiltrated every aspect of health care, primarily and adversely affecting Black people. We affirm that Black lives matter.

People of all faiths need and support reproductive health care services and education, including abortion. Attempts to restrict access to reproductive health care and other social services are pervasive attempts to oppress women. They act as a wedge issue attempting to garner political support. It is an attempt to deem sovereignty of a particular faith and moral stance over others who may not share that same belief system. It is out of respect for our various religious teachings and moral choices that we encourage community values that take our scriptures and traditions seriously-- and allow us to make health care choices for ourselves based on our conscience and access to the most up-to-date medical information. 

We recognize that no single religious leader speaks for all people of faith, and we protest the enshrinement of any faith strictures as public policy. We recognize there are a diversity of views in the New Jersey faith community. Indeed, not everyone in our own congregations or denominations agrees. But as leaders, in part because of this wide range of opinion and theological discussion, we are called to declare our support for access to abortion and other reproductive health care services and sex education as a basic issue of health, safety, and moral agency. We support everyone’s right to make a decision consistent with their own personal situation and beliefs.

Our religious principles are grounded in a love and acceptance of all people. We believe deeply that means being free of racism and discrimination, ending the shame and stigma associated with reproductive health care, including abortion, and increasing access for all people to a full range of reproductive healthcare options and sexual health information.

We join our clergy predecessors in advocacy for laws and policies that safeguard and strengthen access to reproductive health care, and we stand by the work of reproductive health providers who are providing quality and affordable care, and comprehensive sex education that is so vital to the well-being of our communities.

Therefore it follows that, as faith leaders, we believe it is our duty to include our voices among the many being raised in New Jersey advocating for comprehensive, age-appropriate, medically-informed sex education and reproductive health care access regardless of income, race, sexual orientation or zip code. We affirm our faith-informed support of policies that ensure access to affordable, high-quality sexual and reproductive health care services, including abortion, as well as medically-accurate, age-appropriate, LGBTQ-inclusive sex education, so all people can make the best decisions for their lives. 


Rabbi Adena Blum

Rabbi Alexandra Klein

Mrs. AnnMarie Griffin-Ussak

Rabbi Arnold S. Gluck

Rabbi Benjamin David

Reverend Carol S. Haag

Reverend Dr. Craig Rubano

Rabbi Cyril Stanway

Reverend Dr. Charles F. Boyer 

The Reverend Edmund L. Hoener Jr.

Rabbi Ellie Miller

The Reverend Emilie Boggis

Cantor Erica J Lippitz

Rabbi Ethan Prosnit

Rabbi Emeritus Gordon Gladstone

Rabbi Hannah Orden

Rabbi Harvey Rosenfeld

Pastor J. Amos Caley

Rabbi Jacob Best Adler

Cantor Jacqueline Menaker

Rabbi Jim Stoloff

Rabbi Joel N. Abraham

Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky

Rev. John Rogers

Rabbi Jordan Millstein

The Reverend Jose C. Lopez 

The Reverend Juanita Lopez

Reverend Karen G Johnston

Rabbi Karen Glazer Perolman

Pastor Kenneth Corson

Cantor Kenneth Feibush

The Reverend Kimberly Wildszewski

Rabbi Laurence P Malinger

Rabbi Leah Sternberg

Rabbi Leana Moritt

Rabbi Marc Katz

Rabbi Marc Kline

The Reverend Margret A. O'Neall

Dr. Mary Early-Zald 

The Reverend Mary Tiebout

Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz

Rabbi Melinda Panken

Rabbi Michael Satz

Cantor Nitza Shamah

Rabbi Paula Feldstein

Rabbi Philip Bazeley

Rabbi Rachel Steiner

Rabbi Rebecca Shinder

Rabbi Renee Goldberg Edelman

Reverend Rob Gregson

The Reverend Roberto Fois

The Reverend Rosemarie Newberry

Reverend Sonia Ketchian

Rabbi Steven Sirbu

The Reverend Virginia Jarocha-Ernst


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