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“Decisions about abortion are a matter between a woman, her conscience, and her God — not politicians.”

JANUARY 22, 2015— As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote tomorrow on a national abortion ban that would outlaw abortion at 20 weeks, a diverse group of faith leaders released a statement opposing the bill and other attacks on access to safe and legal abortion, emphasizing that a woman should never feel ashamed or judged when making the deeply personal and often complex decision about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child. The statement comes on the eve of the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.  

Statement from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Advocacy Board:

“As clergy representing diverse denominations and faith traditions, we find common ground in our respect for a woman's ability to make her own personal health care decisions without political or government intrusion. We oppose restrictions on abortion designed to shame and judge women, including those currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. We believe that legislation should be based on science and medicine, not dictated by religious ideology. We believe that politicians should not be allowed to make the restrictions of one faith against the law for everybody. Ultimately a decision about abortion is a matter between a woman, her conscience, and her God — not politicians.

Because of our great appreciation for human life, we are morally opposed to any policy that denies a person their right to self-determination. Because we value religious pluralism, we strongly object to any law that would favor one faith over another, and thereby interfere with a woman’s ability to follow her personal faith or conscience. Because we are pastors, our experience offering counsel to those facing complex medical decisions brings us to support access to safe and legal abortion. We stand with women and families because of our religious beliefs, not in spite of them.

“Too often, negative religious voices loudly proclaim that their teachings about abortion are the only ones that are valid.  These religious leaders try to shame and judge women who are making deeply personal and often complex decisions about their pregnancies. As pastors we believe that each person is endowed with the God-given gift of free will and that the decision to have a child is one of the most important decisions women and couples make.  

“We urge Congress to instead focus on expanding access to reproductive health care and comprehensive sex education — which are proven to help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortion rates in America.”

For more information or to speak with a clergy member, please contact the Planned Parenthood media office at 212-261-4433.

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The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Advocacy Board (CAB), dating from 1994, leads a national effort to increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health and justice. CAB members are dedicated clergy and faith leaders from different denominations and communities throughout the U.S. who work with Planned Parenthood at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive freedom for all women and men.