Clergy Statement On Religious Pluralism
As clergy, representing diverse denominations and faith traditions, we find common ground in our respect for the potential of human life and our appreciation for the great gift of human life.
Many religions recognize the potential for conflict between a pregnant woman and the potential human life developing within her. But the religions that recognize this conflict assert that it is the right of a woman to make her own reproductive choices, in light of her individual circumstances, guided by her conscience and her faith.
We know how diverse the religious teachings are on these issues, and we strongly believe that even agreement of religious opinions should not be the basis for amending a state’s constitution. In a democratic pluralistic society, no religious tradition has the right to impose its beliefs onto society as a whole or interfere with the health care of people who follow other religious teachings.
We are all created in God’s image, and as clergy it is our responsibility to encourage people to be good stewards of their bodies. We believe that difficult decisions around medical procedures are best left to doctors, in consultation with their patients, and without political, government, or religious intrusion. Interfering with medical practices endangers the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of women and men who find themselves in a vulnerable and sometimes difficult time of life.
Because of our great appreciation for human life, we are morally opposed to any regulation that denies a person her or his right to self-determination. Because we value religious pluralism, we strongly object to any law that interferes with a person’s constitutional guarantee to follow her or his faith’s instructions.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Advisory Board (CAB), launched in 1994, leads a national effort to increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health and justice. CAB members are dedicated pro-choice clergy from different denominations and communities throughout the U.S. who work with Planned Parenthood at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive freedom for all women and men.