In a letter to the editor, Rev. Laura Young writes, "The Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the clergy and faith communities who stand with us vehemently condemn as hate speech the suggestion made by presidential candidate Donald Trump that women should be punished for having abortions."
Voices that go unheeded include religious leaders who support abortion and other reproductive rights, said the Rev. Laura Young, a United Methodist minister who directs the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Passing legislation based on one particular religious view — the view that opposes abortion rights — “amounts to religious discrimination, not religious freedom,” she said. “I don’t feel that Ohio, by defunding Planned Parenthood, is extending the compassion and care that we have the ability and the responsibility to do.”
In a letter to the editor, Megan Hunter, a board member of Ohio RCRC, writes, "A few religious groups argue their understanding of this matter should be legislated to govern the rest of us, that their religious doctrine should be made state law. Statistics show the majority of religious people disagree with them. The United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Rabbinical Assembly and many more religious organizations support a woman's right to make her own decision about whether and when to terminate a pregnancy."
In a letter to the editor, Rev. Dr. Rita M. Root, treasurer and board member of Ohio RCRC, said, "The Ohio House is scheduled to debate a bill that would ban abortions once the gestational age reaches 20 weeks. Supporters speak with great compassion for the life of the fetus though rarely with any compassion for the woman who must make a difficult choice informed by her own life situation or by the advice of her physician."
"I do not believe their compassion is disingenuous; I do believe it incomplete. Our focus should be to create a world where all children have access to medical care, adequate housing, food and educational opportunities to leave full and dignified lives."
“More than half of (Planned Parenthood) health centers are in rural or medically under-served areas, meaning that without Planned Parenthood, other community providers may not be able to provide care to the additional patients who need access to health-care services,” Rev. Cheri Holderidge wrote in testimony to the Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Holderidge sits on the board of the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She says more than 80,000 residents in Ohio visit Planned Parenthood clinics annually.
Several weeks ago, in early October, a host of religious leaders stood in front of the 41-year-old Preterm clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, to thank God for abortion providers and bless their work. Sponsored by the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), the bold ceremony was meant to publicize the fact that in many traditions - including mainline Protestant, Jewish and Muslim - abortion is considered an acceptable, and yes, moral, option.
Women who have had abortions are being attacked at a religious level. The faith community has a moral obligation to heal these spiritual wounds.
With ever-present assaults on reproductive freedom and silence from pro-choice clergy and congregants, women are left bleeding on the Jericho Road with shockingly few Good Samaritans stopping to bind them up.
Few would guess that a religious group assembled outside an abortion clinic was there advocating for women’s reproductive rights. Last week in Ohio, a group of clergy members tried to change that.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), a pro-abortion rights coalition of leaders from different faiths, gathered at and blessed the Preterm abortion clinic, which has operated in Cleveland since 1974, last Thursday as part of its mission to show women that some religious people do support a woman’s right to choose, despite how vocal the opposition from wings of more conservative faiths is.
More than a dozen interfaith religious leaders gathered in Cleveland last week to bless an abortion clinic and show their support for reproductive rights.
The group of clergy members held signs reading “Pro-Faith, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice” and “ Good women have abortions” as they said prayers and sang outside the Preterm abortion clinic on Friday.
When Reverend Laura Young sees women entering an abortion clinic, she sees misguided faith. But it’s not of the women who are actually trying to access care. It’s the faith of the protesters who’ve become a staple outside many clinics in her home state of Ohio.
“Christianity, like most faiths, is founded on love. Watching protesters shouting judgment and hate based on what they call religion is horrible,” Young said. “Is that loving God? Is that loving your neighbor as yourself?”