Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Religious Organizations Call on President-Elect Obama to Support Reproductive Rights

Nineteen faith-based organizations concerned with reproductive justice have issued a letter today to President-elect Obama. It sharply contrasts with the paper issued by the Catholic Bishops yesterday which called for the new President to uphold restrictions on abortion services. How lovely it is to know that people of faith have joined together to support women's and teenagers rights, here and around the world, AND that this new President is likely to follow our recommendations.

The letter begins:

Our faith communities, comprising millions of Americans, unite in a shared moral commitment to preserve the reproductive health of our nation. Though traditionally cast as a woman’s issue, we maintain that prioritizing reproductive health and justice is an integral part of achieving greater social justice for all. The ability to plan and care for one’s family is central to addressing the myriad social, political and economic concerns we face. Accessing comprehensive health care services safely and legally is inextricably linked to the ability of our country’s citizens and families to thrive. This is why we urge you to make these issues a priority in your administration.

It calls for access to comprehensive sexuality education, abortion services and contraceptive information and options. The letter specifically calls for the President-elect to:

*Work to end to the federal abstinence-only-until-marriage education
* Support the Freedom of Choice Act
*Repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion services.
*Ensure contraceptive access for all women and men by increasing support and funding for Title X family planning clinics and for voluntary international family planning assistance.
*Protect and strengthen access to birth control, including emergency contraception.
*Restore funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
*Fully coordinate and integrate family planning with HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs.
*Repeal the Global Gag Rule (Mexico City Policy), which withholds much needed aid from family planning agencies that even mention abortion.

The letter was signed by:

American Friends Service Committee
Catholics for Choice
Christian Lesbians Out
Disciples for ChoiceDisciples Justice Action Network
Jewish Women International
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Lutheran Women’s Caucus
National Council of Jewish Women
Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisory Board
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society
Union for Reform Judaism
Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

You can read the full letter here.

No comments: