Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RCRC Says HCR Should Reflect All Voices, Faiths.

Good news from other faiths:

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) and Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish agencies today called on the Senate to ensure the finalhealth care reform bill respects diverse religious beliefs on women's health care.

"It is now up to the Senate to keep health care reform free of religious doctrine and restrictions that will prevent women from making their own reproductive health choices," said Reverend Dr. Carlton W. Veazey, President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), which convened a news conference in Washington, DC.

RCRC includes more than 40 denominations and religious organizations and thousands of clergy who respect diverse religious beliefs and individual decisions about whether and when to have children.

"We are grateful that the day is approaching when more Americans will have access to health care. Yet we are troubled that the House of Representative has imposed the theological views of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the American people," Reverend Veazey said.

"There should be no Stupak-Pitts language in the Senate or conference committee health care bills," he said, referring to a restrictive amendment pushed by the Catholic bishops and passed by the House of Representatives. "RCRC agreed that health care reform must not become tangled in the abortion debate. We supported preserving the status quo. But this was not enough for anti-choice lobbyists who have insisted on using health care reform to expand restrictions on access to abortion services. Women must not lose access to services they may need because of a small but vocal group of activists."

"Health care reform is about expanding access for all, not rolling back women's access to needed health services," he emphasized.

Speakers today included Linda Bales Todd of the General Board of Church and Society of theUnited Methodist Church; Sammie Moshenberg, Director of the Washington Office of the National Council of Jewish Women; Jon O'Brien, President of Catholics for Choice; Sandra Sorensen, Director of the Washington Office of the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, and Reverend Barry W. Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

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