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We write as clergy and congregational leaders from different faith traditions to express our strong condemnation of the newly proposed Trump-Pence administration domestic “gag” rule on Title X -- the nation’s only birth control and reproductive health care program.  This unnecessary and harmful rule would make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers and other reproductive health providers to share information with patients about where and how to obtain a legal abortion.  It would also make it virtually impossible for millions of patients to access reproductive health care services, including birth control, from Planned Parenthood health centers.  As persons of faith, we strongly oppose this rule and its attempt to impose religious restrictions with devastating results on the lives of women. Make no mistake, this rule targets low-income women and the most vulnerable.

This policy will disproportionately hurt women who identify as members of racial or ethnic communities that often face significant health challenges due to systemic inequities. Out of the 4 million family planning patients served by Title X, more than half are women of color: 21 percent of all Title X clients identify as Black or African American, and 32 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino.

We strongly urge the Department of Health and Human Services to reject this gag rule and to remove the political intervention from the health decisions of women, men, and families.  We believe that providing access to comprehensive, accurate medical information must be the basis for all health care.  Our faith compels us to honor the autonomy of women as they make their own life decisions, including the use of contraception and the obtaining of safe and legal abortions if they so choose.  This is a cruel policy designed to keep people from having access to the best health care available, and we strongly condemn it.

Signed in Faith,

The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel

   VIII Bishop of Olympia

Rev. Tor Berg

Rev. Dr. Linda Hart

Rev. Thomas Perchlik

Rabbi Elizabeth Dunsker

Rev. Lara Crutsinger-Perry

Rabbi Jason Levine

Rev. Eric Kaminetzky

Rev. Cecilia Kingman

Rev. Marcella Glass

Rev. Lois Van Leer

Rev. Charis Weathers

Rev. Barbara Gilday

Rev. Tamalyn Kralman

Rev. Dr. Tammy Stampfli

Rev. Gary Shoemaker

Rev. Emily Melcher

Rev. Becky Withington

Rev. Robert Tucker

Rev. William Poores

Rabbi David Lipper

Rev. Jen Stuart

Rev. Laura Shennum

Rev. Ken Jones

Rev. Grace Simons

Rev. David Weasley

Rev. Bethany Hull Somers

Rev. Andrea CastroLang

Rev. Doak Mansfield

Rev. Kathryn A. Bert

Rabbi Joshua Samuels

Rabbi Seth Goldstein

Rev. Karen Hernandez

Rev. Jon M. Luopa

Rev. Elaine Peresluha

Rev. Martha Greene

Pr. Seth Novak

Rev. Cody Natland

Rev. Colin Cushman

Rabbi Zari Weiss

Rev. William Graves

Rev. Tessie Mandeville

Rev. Dick Cathell

Rev. Janet Matthews

Rev. Cheryl Rohret

Rev. Leslie Ahuvah Fails

Rabbi Bruce Kadden

Rev. Shelley Page

Rev. Elizabeth Stevens

Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz

Rev. Dr. Ronald M. Patterson

Rabbi Paula Rose

Rabbi Elana Zaiman

Rev. Kate LePard

Rabbi Allison Flash

Rev. Ann Lock

Rev. Sally Balmer

Rabbi Jill Borodin

Rabbi Ted Falcon

Rev. Mary Beth Rivetti

Rev. Barbara Davenport

Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum

Rev. Steve Coleman

Rev. Sara LaWall

Rabbi Anson Laytner

Leadership Council of Skagit

   Unitarian Universalist

   Fellowship

Rabbi Tamar Malino

Pr. Helen McPeak

Rev. Robin Biffle

Rev. Homer Todd

Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter

Rabbi Robert Levine

Rev. Darcy Roake

Rev. Jana Schofield

Rev. Vincent Lachina

Rabbi Janine Schloss

Rev. Terry B. Hall

Rabbi Dennis Ross

Tags: Clergy