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Roe v. Wade

Clergy/Faith Leader Sign-on Letter

Posted: July 15th, 2022 @ 3:00pm These-rabbis-wont-stop-fighting-for-abortion-rights These-rabbis-wont-stop-fighting-for-abortion-rights
July 7 2022

We, the undersigned Pennsylvania faith leaders and clergy, condemn the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in striking down the landmark and precedent setting ruling of Roe v Wade. Fifty years ago, we believed that we had clarified and determined the sacred privilege of bodily autonomy. Now, that right has been taken away from all Americans. This is a tragic occasion for us all. As abhorrent as is this ruling, the rationale given is equally disturbing, as it is based on dismissing fifty years of precedent hinging on an implied right to privacy present in our Constitution. This abrogation of a right we have all come to count upon is frightening in its implications, as it signals further erosions or even excisions of other rights, including the right to contraception, same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and more.

As clergy and faith leaders, we are also distressed that this ruling seeks to enshrine into law one narrow religious viewpoint, thereby violating the Constitution’s explicit protection for freedom of religion. The free exercise of religion – including the right not to observe any religion – means that no one religious concept can control law and life for those of a different religious belief. People of faith believe many different things about the beginnings of human life. No one religious viewpoint should decide American law, especially as personal a decision as this. The difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy is for many, the result of consulting one’s conscience and one’s closest advisors, and especially because such a decision relates to personal bodily autonomy, should not be subject to someone else’s restrictive religious or philosophical viewpoint.

Citizens of Pennsylvania: Know that we people of faith stand with patients, their physicians, and their loved ones. We know that when abortion care is not available, women die. And we also know that prohibitions on abortion will not curtail the number of abortions taking place: they will simply make abortions more dangerous and life-threatening. Accordingly, we, the undersigned clergy and faith leaders of many religious denominations, call upon our elected officials to represent the majority of Pennsylvanians who support reproductive justice, to immediately pass legislation to protect access to abortions and the associated care from abortion procedures. We call upon the citizens of Pennsylvania who support abortion rights to petition their legislative leaders to pass laws to support a person’s right to choose reproductive freedom. And we pray that the governor will support and sign these protections into law.
Signed, (congregations/organizations for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement)
James Cavenaugh, Lay Chaplain, Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
Rev. Dr. Marvin A. Marsh, American Baptist, King of Prussia
Rabbi Carl Choper, Temple Beth Shalom, Mechanicsburg
Rev. Dr. John Fordon (Ret) Unitarian Universalist, Camp Hill
Rabbi Dr. Audrey Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Barbara Pearce, Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
Michele Hamilton, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, State College
Rev Dr Sarah Q. Malone, Fillmore Church at Buffalo Run, Bellefonte
Osho Andrea Minick Rudolph, Director, Oryoki Zendo, Harrisburg
Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale, Incarnation Institute for Sex & Faith, Philadelphia
Rebecca Balog, Indigenous Spiritualism and Buddhist, Mechanicsburg
Marsha R. Curry-Nixon, BA, MHS, Founder and Executive Director of AMiracle4Sure, a faith-based nonprofit, Harrisburg
Rev. Joan M. Sabatino, Director, Unitarian Universalist Justice PA
Pastor Jonathan Britt, First Presbyterian Church, Lansdowne
Kohenet Shoshana Bricklin, Ordained Hebrew Priestess, Philadelphia
Rabbi Hava Lynn Pell, RRA, Lemoyne
Elizabeth F Perkins, Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills, Pittsburgh
Linda Weiner Seligson, Temple Beth Israel, York
Karen Sykes, Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
Rev. Jane Thickstun, Unitarian-Universalist Church of the North Hills, Pittsburgh
Rabbi Jack P. Paskoff, Congregation Shaarai Shomayim, Lancaster
Rabbi Maurice Harris – Reconstructing Judaism – Wyncote
Rev. Dr. Vincent Kolb, Sixth Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh
Rev. Bill Bloom, United Christian Church of Levittown
Rev David Reppert, Emanuel United Church of Christ, Philadelphia
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, PhD, Philadelphia
Rev. Dr. Barbara Coeyman, Lancaster
Rev. McKinley L. Sims, Senior Minister of Unitarian Universalists of Mt. Airy, Philadelphia
Rev. Leslie Mamas, United Church of Christ, Norristown
Rev. Scott A. Siciliano, Colonial Park United Church of Christ, Harrisburg
Rev. Kathryn L. Kuhn, Church of the Apostles UCC, Lancaster
Rev. Kevin W. Jagoe, BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Warrington
Rev. Lee Paczulla, Executive Minister, WellSprings Congregation, Chester Springs
Rev. Hannah Capaldi, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
Rev. Stephanie Gannon, First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
Rev. Anjel Scarborough, All Saints Episcopal Church, Hershey
Rev. Beth G. Lyon, St. Andrew’s United Church of Christ, Perkasie
Rabbi Jill Maderer, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia
Rev. Douglas Hagler, First Presbyterian Church of Phoenixville
Rev. John Woodcock, International Council of Community Churches, Malvern
Reverend Tina Mackie, Zion Lutheran Church, Spring City

The Pennsylvania Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit and a community partner of  the national Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).

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