Nationally Recognized Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite Keynotes Planned Parenthood Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
Rev. W. Stewart MacColl Receives Revs. Davis Award for Distinguished Service
Washington, DC — The Reverend Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Ph.D., president of the Chicago Theological Seminary, gave the keynote speech at the Planned Parenthood Annual Conference Interfaith Prayer Breakfast held at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, DC, on Friday, March 31. Rev. Thistlethwaite was a key witness before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to the nomination of John G. Roberts as chief justice of the United States.
"Reverend Thistlethwaite has long been an inspiring religious leader and a compelling voice in religious and political discussions on reproductive rights, human rights, and sexual equality," said Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) national chaplain. "Rev. Thistlethwaite's testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the Roberts nomination epitomizes her unwavering commitment to women and families. It is an honor to have Rev. Thistlethwaite as keynote speaker at our Interfaith Prayer Breakfast and to hear her comments on the role of religion in reproductive and sexual well-being."
During the breakfast, Reverend W. Stewart MacColl was presented with The Reverends Betsy M. and Thomas R. Davis Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his four decades of service to the Planned Parenthood mission. Despite once facing weekly protests in front of his church, MacColl has served as a Planned Parenthood volunteer and advocate and raised money for a Houston-area Planned Parenthood health center to serve the working poor, students, and uninsured women in the suburban community surrounding his church.
"Rev. W. Stewart MacColl has been fearless in his support of social justice and deeply compassionate in his commitment to reproductive rights," said Peter Durkin, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. "In the 1960s-1970s, MacColl provided counseling and information for women seeking illegal abortions, providing a source of comfort for women facing unintended pregnancies. Since Roe, his dedication to Planned Parenthood and the women and families of his community has only deepened."
The Reverends Betsy M. and Thomas R. Davis Distinguished Service Award was created in honor of the Reverends Davis, who devoted a lifetime of support to reproductive choice and women's health. Rev. Betsy M. Davis, who died in 2002, was a founding member of Planned Parenthood of Saratoga and of Saratoga Domestic Violence Services. Rev. Thomas R. Davis was college chaplain and associate professor of religion at Skidmore College, as well as a board member of Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson and a member of the Clergy Consultation Services on Abortion. In 2005, his book Sacred Work: Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliance was published and he has spent the last year speaking with affiliates about his book and the role of clergy in Planned Parenthood's mission.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 860 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.