I have written here before about my involvement in the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute at the Center for American Progress, and have written to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in previous years.
Today, I am proud to be one of the signers of a public statement opposing legislation in the House of Representatives that would ban abortion at 20 weeks’ gestation. The bill, H.R. 36, will be voted on tomorrow, the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
The statement, signed by a coalition of faith leaders, criticizes the House bill for inserting politics into important medical decisions and denying a woman the ability to determine what is right for herself, in consultation with those she trusts the most. “A ban on abortion at 20 weeks makes it harder for women who are already facing difficult circumstances,” said Sally Steenland, Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress. “Politicians are not medical experts, and this is not an area where they should be meddling. We at the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute strongly believe that H.R. 36 violates a woman’s human rights, disregards her religious freedom, and lacks scientific or medical basis. We urge Congress to reject this legislation.”
Here is an excerpt from the statement:
We are faith leaders from diverse traditions, committed to justice and dignity for all God’s people. We believe that God entrusts each of us with the capacity to make moral decisions when faced with complex situations in our lives.We recognize that pregnancy can present a woman with important decisions—and that she is equipped by God and conscience to determine what is best for her and her family. Any law that attempts to override a woman’s conscience and personal decision-making by decreeing that she must carry a pregnancy to term—regardless of her health, life circumstances, or faith tradition—violates American values and is a form of moral violence.Therefore, we strongly oppose a bill introduced in the House of Representatives that would outlaw abortions at 20 weeks’ gestation. The bill, H.R. 36, would insert politics into important medical decisions and deny a woman the ability to decide what is right for her in consultation with those she trusts the most. H.R. 36 is not based on science or medical expertise. Furthermore, it disregards a woman’s human rights and her religious freedom.
The full statement can be read by clicking here.
Click here to read quotes on H.R. 36 from members of the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute.