Friday, March 04, 2011

Leading Evangelical Speaks Out With Rev. Haffner

Yesterday, Rev. Richard Cizik and I released an op ed column on our joint support for domestic and international family planning.

You may remember Rev. Cizik as the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, a position he became after Rev. Ted Haggard had to step down after being discovered having sex and buying drugs from a male escort.

Rev. Cizik has gone on to head a new organization, the New Evangelical Partnership, which is a coalition of more mainstream evangelical organizations committed to the common good. Here's a piece of part of what we said:

As religious leaders, we are both called to respond to the needs of the most marginalized, the most vulnerable, and the most likely to be excluded. Both of our organizations are committed to Goal Five of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, calling for improved global maternal health by reducing maternal mortality by three quarters and achieving universal access to reproductive health. Both of us are committed to helping create a just and equitable world where no woman will die giving birth to the next generation.

Although we hold differing moral values about abortion, we share a commitment that because life is sacred, it should never be created carelessly or unintentionally. That is why we both support the Title X family planning program, which helps avert nearly one million pregnancies in the United States annually. That is why we have a shared belief in international family planning programs, because we know that maternal mortality around the world could be reduced by more than 70 percent by improved access to reproductive health services. We support domestic and international family planning because we know it reduces neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality, including deaths attributable to unsafe abortions--and it helps build strong families and lives.

As religious leaders, we are called to improve women's and children's lives. It is simply inconceivable to either of us that those who oppose abortion services also have voted to cut or eliminate family planning, prenatal care, mother and infant nutrition programs, and community health services. We stand together in calling on people of faith across the religious spectrum to stand up for the needs of low-income families and their children. We are pro-faith, pro-family, and pro-child.

As people of faith, we call on the U.S. Senate to reject the draconian and ultimately immoral cuts proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives. As religious leaders called by God to co-create a better world where all may flourish and thrive, we can do no less.

You can read the whole piece at

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