Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice speak out

The month of May witnessed many progressive faith leaders speaking out against a plethora of bills which were enacted to comprehensively restrict women’s right of access to legal and safe abortions. Prominent among them is the passing of a controversial bill in the Alabama Senate, which makes performing the abortion procedure during any pregnancy stage a felony . This legislation will effectively impose a ban on the abortion procedure. The only exceptions granted are when the life of the mother herself is at risk.

The Alabama Senate threw out an amendment which would have permitted abortions for all pregnancies which happened due to incest or rape. Incidentally, all the 25 state senators who gave their vote in the consent of the bill were white and male. If Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican herself, signs this bill, it will apply to all Alabama residents within six months. It would also hold the unenviable distinction of being America’s strictest abortion ban. Alabama is not alone in this regard. Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia have also passed laws that banned abortion after a pregnancy period of six weeks. Most women have no idea that they are pregnant before this period.

Even though conservative religious voices have long dominated the national conversation regarding abortion, there was and continues- to be a progressive murmur which is not wholly lost in the flood of narrow conservatism. Liberal clergy has long been a feature of the reproductive rights movement long before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case legalized the abortion procedure in 1973.

Now the progressives are pushing back. Members of the interfaith group Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice which champions a woman’s right to abort said that the Alabama bill was an “uncommonly harsh” one and can be regarded as an affront to religious convictions. In its statement, the Washington D.C.-headquartered group pointed out that these laws were designed and given support by elected officials who voice their brand of conservative Christianity as if it was the sole authentic religious view, which it is not. The statement went further on to add that Americans are Christians, Jews, and people of many other faiths, and also people who follow no faith. They demand due accountability from elected officials when it comes to protecting religious liberty. This means no single strain of any religious belief should be imposed on all.

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