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Statement of the Reverend Carlton W. Veazey, President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, on the 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Reverend Carlton W. Veazey, President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice:

"On the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, our country is on the brink of abandoning its commitment that abortion will be safe, legal, and available if and when it is needed. The U.S. Supreme Court's Gonzales v. Carhart opinion and the 'fetal personhood' initiatives and outright abortion bans being promoted in at least 17 states are sounding the death knell for the landmark constitutional decision.

"At this point of crisis, compassionate clergy leadership is needed to awaken the silent majority of Americans who are pro-choice. They know that abortion is a profoundly personal decision and that women who struggle with that decision deserve respect. They know there is no one right or wrong decision about abortion and that criminalizing abortion will drive women to dangerous illegal providers but will not eliminate the procedure. They deserve to know that the majority of their religious communities support abortion being legal and available to all women, including those who are poor and need government assistance.

"Government is failing in its responsibility to protect women's health, lives and dignity. As in the dark days before Roe v. Wade, when abortion was illegal, dangerous and deadly, clergy and religious leaders are taking up that sacred responsibility. Hundreds of clergy and religious leaders in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice are speaking out to protect reproductive health decisions based on individual faith and conscience, and our voices will continue to grow stronger."

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is the national interfaith coalition of religious and religiously affiliated organizations from 15 faith traditions that support reproductive choice on religious and moral grounds. Founded in 1973, RCRC programs and services include Clergy for Choice, Seminarians for Choice, The National Black Church Initiative, La Iniciativa Latino, Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom, All Options Clergy Counseling, faith-based sexuality education, and public policy, advocacy and education.

SOURCE Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
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