As reported by Aanda Terkel in the Huffington Post, President Obama’s pro-choice birth control decision has drawn enthusiatic praise from Amercan other-than-USCCB religious leaders.
On Monday, 30 January, religious leaders from the Jewish, Unitarian, Baptist and other faiths addressed a letter to Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. All are members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which includes more than 40 denominations.
They did not condemn but thanked President Obama: “We believe that all women deserve access to affordable birth control, regardless of their employer, and we hope that, in the future, HHS will expand the same preventive coverage to women across the board.”
The letter continued…..”As clergy, we are committed to upholding the important goals of reproductive justice and health, empowering women and men to make decisions about whether and when to have and bear children within their own moral and religious tradition, and assuring them the means and ability to raise their children in a safe and healthy environment. Access to reproductive health services recognizes a moral value embraced across the religious spectrum. We thank you for your decision supporting the fundamental value of reproductive health to women and families.”
Rev. Matthew Westfox said the letter was intended to thank the Obama administration for its decision, and to provide an alternative religious voice, since so much attention had been put on opposition to the rule by some Roman Catholic leaders.
“What a lot of the press has been reporting is that all religious groups are opposed to this — which is just categorically untrue,” Westfox said.
Westfox continued…..”We really wanted to make clear that on behalf of ourselves and thousands of people of faith and clergy and religious organizations across the country, that we stood in support of this decision. We think it’s really important to know that many people of faith are supportive of this and have been supportive of access to birth control and individual people being able to access their conscience in support of health care.”
As pointed out here a few days ago, the loudest voice opposing the Obama administration’s decision has been the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.