Planned Parenthood’s Miami Interfaith Council is deeply concerned that the Department of Health and Human Services finalized the federal refusal regulation which will limit a woman’s access to birth control and the information she needs to manage her own health care. We believe that women deserve access to all reproductive health care options without religious interference or government intrusion. In a democratic pluralistic society, no religious tradition has the right to impose its beliefs on society as a whole or interfere with the health care of people who follow other religious teachings.
Reproductive justice is essentially a question of access — access to affordable family planning and reproductive health care services. Giving people both the access and resources they need — affordable birth control and medically accurate, comprehensive sex education — to decide when and whether to start a family is the best way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. We continue to urge our elected officials to support reproductive health care by supporting programs that expand birth control access to low-income women and men, ensure that insurance plans cover birth control prescriptions, and help universities and nonprofit health care providers offer low-cost contraception. Birth control is basic health care.
We are all created in God’s image, and as clergy we believe that it is our responsibility to encourage people to be good stewards of their bodies. Women are unable to treat their bodies with reverence and respect when faced with barriers to services that can help them plan pregnancies, prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and detect breast and cervical cancer.
We strongly oppose any measure that limits or prohibits a woman’s access to quality and affordable health care. A social system that denies access to health care and information violates the central Biblical imperative to love and render justice to one’s neighbor.
Signed: Miami Interfaith Council Founding Members
Reverend Dorothy Chaney, Reverend Laurinda Hafner, and Rabbi Judith Siegal
The mission of Planned Parenthood of South Florida and Treasure Coast, Inc. is to provide comprehensive sexual health care through the provision of clinical services, education and advocacy. We do so by understanding and responding to the needs of those seeking our services, and by protecting and respecting the essential privacy rights, dignity and culture of each individual.
Director of Communications
December 22, 2008