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Clergy Met with Congressional Member Offices and Joined Planned Parenthood Supporters, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) at Rally on Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C. – An interfaith group of more than 40 clergy and faith leaders from across the country convened in Washington, DC, in support of reproductive health care, and to let Congress know that they will stand with Planned Parenthood and the 2.5 million patients who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for trusted health care services and information.

Planned Parenthood partnered with SisterReach and the Religious Institute to host a teach-in where clergy shared how their faith informs their belief in access to reproductive health care and their support for Planned Parenthood. Some of the clergy also joined Planned Parenthood affiliates in Congressional member office meetings to advocate for the patients in their communities. The two-day convening was capped off by a rally on Capitol Hill in support of Planned Parenthood. The faith leaders – some of whom are members of Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board – joined Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY),  Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Planned Parenthood patients, partners, and supporters in highlighting the nonprofit’s critical role as a trusted and accessible health care provider.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

People of faith have always been deeply entrenched in the fight for reproductive health care, because equitable access to health care is a human right. Planned Parenthood is proud to provide critical health care, including birth control and cancer screenings, to many people who might otherwise have nowhere to turn for care. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our patients, faith leaders, and the majority of Americans, who recognize that blocking millions of people from receiving care at Planned Parenthood health centers would have a devastating effect on our communities.” 

Statement from Vincent Lachina, Planned Parenthood Washington State Chaplain:

“As a member of the clergy and an Evangelical Christian, my faith’s belief in providing care and compassion for those in need wholly informs my support for Planned Parenthood’s important work. I’ve joined with clergy across the country to fight for Planned Parenthood’s patients because ensuring access to health care is a moral imperative, not some political game. No one should be denied their right to reproductive health care and I am proud to stand with Planned Parenthood as its health centers continue to provide care – no matter what – to millions of patients across the country.”


Rev. Timothy McDonald III addresses the crowd at the rally in support of Planned Parenthood. Behind him stand participants in the faith teach-in. L to R: Pastor Keatan King, Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Rev. Dr. Gawain F. de Leeuw, Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter, Pastor Samuel White

Planned Parenthood Washington State Chaplain Vincent Lachina

L to R: Rev Dr. Gawain F. de Leeuw, Rev. Kim Singletary, Rev. Madison T. Shockley II

Members of Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board. L to R: Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter (Chair), Rev. Darcy Roake, Dr. Scott Sattler, Rev. Madison T. Shockley II, Chaplain Vincent LaChina, Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Rabbi Peter Stein, Rev. Rod Perdue

Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe (far left) of Catholics for Choice speaks with Planned Parenthood staff after the rally.

L to R: Rev Dr. Gawain F. de Leeuw, Minister Archene Turner, Rev. Madison T. Shockley II

Background on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Advocacy Board (CAB):

Building on the long history of faith leaders taking an active role in reproductive health care, the CAB has been work with Planned Parenthood at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive rights and freedom for all women and men for more than  two decades. Its members, who are dedicated clergy and faith leaders from different denominations and communities throughout the U.S., lead a national effort to increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health.


Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


April 04, 2017