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Washington, D.C. — Today, the Clergy Advocacy Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued the following statement on Donald Trump's new executive order, which he announced earlier this week at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast and released last night:

“As clergy, people invite us into their lives when the unexpected arises. But in these times of overheated political rhetoric, we must clarify: politicians are creating a false narrative to score political points. We are clergy to people facing real-life health crises and we know this is not how medical care works. The situation this executive order pretends to address simply does not happen, but the cruel stigma it creates for those seeking abortions is very real.

“Our experience teaches, first and foremost, to avoid judging those who would seek an abortion, no matter the reason. When we are called upon to provide prayer, counsel, and support, we see that every pregnancy is different, and that pregnancy must not be taken for granted, especially in those circumstances when something goes horribly wrong. 

“We realize that many people’s faith will influence their decisions. We underscore the importance of allowing people to honor their differing faith teachings and personal conscience in these most trying and intimate moments of life. We respect these heartfelt personal decisions. 

“Meanwhile, we acknowledge that people disagree about abortion. Yet we underscore the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to high quality health care throughout their pregnancy. Health care providers and their patients need all of their options.

“As religious leaders, we believe that God created human beings with the capacity to make wise decisions that direct their personal, private lives. We believe that each person deserves access to quality health care and must be spared from unwanted interference by politicians and hostile rhetoric.

“We walk in no one’s shoes but our own, and we would all be wise to react with compassion for every pregnant person and their loved ones who face such an exceptional and sorrowful situation.” 

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

Building on the long history of faith leaders taking an active role in supporting reproductive health care, the Clergy Advocacy Board has been working with Planned Parenthood at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive rights and freedom for all people 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.

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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 more than 600 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.