Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board Speaks Out Against SCOTUS Decision to Overturn Roe
For Immediate Release: June 24, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the federal constitutional right to an abortion that Americans have relied on for nearly 50 years.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Clergy Advocacy Board condemns this decision:
“As clergy from diverse faiths and communities, we are united in our determination to ensure that abortion remains safe, accessible, and legal.
“Our real-life experiences providing counsel, prayer, and pastoral support to people facing medical decisions, as amplified by our positive faith teachings, underscore the importance of protecting the sanctity and confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship and ensuring that each person has access to the care that they believe is right for them. While a person in medical need may invite trusted others into their decision-making – health care provider, spouse, partner, family member, counselor, religious leaders – politicians should not be allowed to undermine private health conversations and block access to care. Clergy know that the individual, in conversation with a health care provider, when necessary, is in the best position to decide whether to become a parent or not.
“But with today’s decision, residents of more than half the states in our country may soon no longer have power over their own bodies and lives. Those lacking access to financial resources and the support they need to travel out of state are forced to carry pregnancies, flee their state for care, or seek abortion outside of the health care system. Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other people of color will disproportionately feel the consequences due to systemic racism and discrimination. This outrageous and unprecedented decision is not the endgame: Anti-abortion groups have announced their ultimate intention to block abortion in every state across the country.
“We are equally distressed that religion is being misappropriated to justify banning access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion. To be sure, there are sincere religious differences when it comes to contraception and abortion, yet our laws and policies must not favor the religious restrictions of one faith over the supportive teachings of others. In this decision, some justices of the court are acting as umpire in a religious dispute and declaring the restrictions of their own faith the winner at the expense of other faiths, which honor personal conscience and responsibility. The court, acting out of personal bias, trampled a fundamental tenet of religious pluralism – instead of ensuring that our democracy respects and protects the deeply held teachings of each faith and individual conscience.
“As people of faith and deep moral conviction, we unequivocally oppose bans and restrictions on abortion. Any proposed restrictions undermine individual moral agency and the ability to make personal health decisions according to one’s conscience, including whether and when to parent. We affirm the moral agency and divine, religious right of people seeking abortions, their bodily autonomy, and their moral authority to make reproductive decisions that express what abundance means for them.”
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.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive 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.