Washington, D.C. — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America is announcing 10 new members of the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board (CAB). The CAB leads the organization’s national and local advocacy efforts to communicate with communities of faith and religious leaders for access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care. CAB members serve three-year terms; and new members join annually — reflecting the diverse religious traditions and faith communities across the U.S. that consider reproductive freedom an ethical imperative. Today’s announcement comes at an exciting time, following the recent wave of lawmakers — such as Senator Raphael Warnock, the distinguished theologian and senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church — who proudly champion reproductive rights as a matter of faith.
Statement from The Reverend Burl Salmon, chair, Clergy Advocacy Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“We are thrilled to welcome the new members of the Clergy Advocacy Board to help raise awareness around the ways clergy leaders and faith communities have long been driven by their faith to support sexual and reproductive health care. A strong majority of people in the U.S. support access to safe, legal abortions and other sexual and reproductive health care, and a multitude of faith communities stand with them. These advocates know that caring about the health and rights of their communities is essential, and they stand with those across the country fighting for reproductive freedom. With our new members, we are energized and eager to carry our work forward on behalf of all people.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president & CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care — including abortion — is supported by people of all faiths. The Clergy Advocacy Board is a crucial part of our mission at Planned Parenthood to promote, protect, and expand access to health care for all. I am excited to welcome these new members to the CAB, and grateful for their incredible leadership and dedication to this work. Planned Parenthood is proud to have religious leaders of all faiths standing with us in this fight.”
The majority of Americans of faith agree that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, majorities of most large Protestant groups, such as white mainline Protestants (59%) and Black Protestants (56%), say abortion should be legal in most or all cases. And 70% of people who identify as Jewish, a plurality of Catholics, and the majority of Muslims in the U.S. support legal of abortion as well.
Building on the long history of faith leaders who actively support sexual and reproductive health care, the CAB has been a part of Planned Parenthood for 27 years, working at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive rights and freedom for all people.
The new members of the CAB include:
- The Rev. Emily Harden,West Virginia
- The Rev. Tim Kutzmark, California
- Rabbi Sarah Smiley, Kansas
- The Rev. Katey Zeh, North Carolina
- The Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters, North Carolina
- The Rev. Elle Dowd, Illinois
- The Rev. Elise Saulsberry, Tennessee
- The Rev. Latishia James-Portis, Georgia
- The Rev. Stephen Griffith, Nebraska
To connect with the CAB spokespersons or to get more information, email [email protected].
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and 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 (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.