Black Clergy Decry Abortion Decision, Demand Expanded Maternal Care Access

The Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action
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Photos: Faith in Action\YouTube\Facebook\MTS

Clergy and organizers with Faith in Action, the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States, are speaking out against Friday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade - a decision that comes as women across the United States are struggling to find formula to feed their babies.

Their statements are below:

The Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action: “This is a huge blow to women in this season of despair. As people of faith, we are called on to join with women who are afraid today. We must speak out against dangerous policies that chip away at having agency over their own bodies. This country pretends to be a nation that cares about the well-being of women when millions of women are without health insurance and access to maternal health care. It is also no secret who will be most affected: poor Black and Brown women.

"Our collective liberation relies on all of us having the tools to live our fullest lives and make decisions grounded in our own values and beliefs. As faith leaders, it is not our place to judge others for their circumstances – rather, it is our job to stand against policies that make the lives of women more difficult.”

The Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould, senior strategist for faith leadership strategies, Faith in Action, and Associate at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in DC: "The U.S. from its origin has been a tale of two countries, the privileged and the underprivileged. We are also a country that often operates under the veneer of a fraudulent connection to religion. Proverbs 14:31 reminds us that, ‘Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.’

"The SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe not only puts those for whom inequities have caused to be perpetually underprivileged, such as poor women, Black women, and other women of color. It also inherently shows contempt for the Creator. It is a moment in which people of faith have to wrestle with theologies that support oppression of any kind. It is a sad day for us but we have been here before and will continue to advocate for, stand with, and protect the well-being of those who continue to be saddled with legalized, judicially enforced oppression."

The Rev. Kamilah Hall Sharp, co-pastor, The Gathering, A Womanist Church in Dallas, and Clergy Organizing Board member, Faith in Action: “Today is a difficult day for women and children in this country because of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. People are hurt, scared, and frankly, enraged. Here in Texas, we have one of the country's highest Black mother mortality rates, no Medicaid expansion, and child care is hard to get even for people with the money. This decision is deadly.

"I, too, am enraged at the injustice, the lack of care for women and that most people who voted to take this right away will never have to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term in their bodies. As a follower of Jesus, I believe my rage aligns with his. Jesus was so enraged by injustice and the oppression of the people he flipped tables. We must harness our rage and organize and flip seats in state and federal legislatures so that evil does not get the final word.”

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