Morally Indefensible Family Planning Cuts Only Add to Devastating Impact of Poor Economy on Struggling Families
Statement of Reverend Dr. Carlton W. Veazey,
President and CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
February 18, 2011 - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose, including contraception, which is basic preventive health care. Pence offered the amendment to the FY11 Continuing Resolution, which completely eliminates the national family planning program Title X. The statement of RCRC's president follows.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and its 40 member denominations and religiously affiliated organizations – including the Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, Catholics for Choice, and Union for Reform Judaism – are deeply troubled by the cuts to family planning services and to Planned Parenthood clinics that were passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives. These services are used by more than 5 million women and men each year.
Given the many other options available to the Republican leadership, cutting these services should not have been the priority of our government. At a time when so many people continue to suffer from the poor economy, eliminating critical preventive health services will do even more damage to struggling families.
But most troubling is that these cuts show a callous disregard for the well-being of women and families. Responsible parenthood reflects our highest values as people of faith and as a nation. The family planning services provided by Planned Parenthood clinics and the Title X program (the nation’s family planning program) are part of the foundation of the strong, family-oriented society that we seek.
As a coalition sustained by our faith and pursuit for social justice, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice asks: Where is the justice in destroying services that support responsible behaviors and healthy life styles? The answer is obvious: there is no justice and no compassion. These cuts must be stopped by the Senate because they are morally indefensible.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is the national interfaith coalition of denominations that officially support reproductive choice on religious grounds, with more than 20 million members, including the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, two agencies of the United Methodist Church, the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism, and the Unitarian Universalist Association, and Catholics for Choice and other independent and religiously affiliated organizations.
February 18, 2011