Faith Groups Applaud Report on Including Contraception in Health Care Reform

Jul 22, 2011, 15:59 ET from Catholics for Choice

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leading faith-based organizations, representing millions of individuals across the country, joined together today to applaud the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report advocating coverage without co-pays of the full range of contraceptive services under a provision governing women's preventive health benefits in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The organizations include Catholics for Choice; Concerned Clergy for Choice; the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW); the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; the United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries; and the United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society. Full versions of the following statements may be read here:

Jon O'Brien, president, Catholics for Choice:

"Catholics use family planning at the same rate as do other women in the U.S. Polling shows that more than 60 percent of Catholics support health insurance coverage -- whether it is private or government insurance -- for family planning. Catholics have a responsibility to listen to our consciences in matters of moral decision-making, and to respect other people's right to do the same. Removing unnecessary obstacles, as this report recommends, means that more women will have the means to follow their own consciences in deciding whether and when to have children." Contact: Adrianne Burke, 202-986-6093.

Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, director, Concerned Clergy for Choice:

"In contrast to those faith leaders opposed to making contraception more available, there is wide and deep religious support for the IOM recommendations. Clergy from a wide range of denominations -- Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarian ministers and more, Muslim leaders, rabbis and others -- underscore the importance of making sure that women have the ability to become mothers when they decide the time is right for them."

Linda Slucker, president, National Council of Jewish Women:

"The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) applauds the recommendation of the IOM. NCJW believes strongly that women's health, autonomy, equality, and freedom of conscience require that contraception and related services be treated as the essential preventive services we know they are."

Rev. Dr. Carlton W. Veazey, president and CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice:

"The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), the nation's interfaith organization supporting reproductive rights, commends the Institute of Medicine's recommendations on contraceptive coverage."

Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo, Executive Minister, UCC Justice and Witness Ministries:

"The Institute of Medicine's report is to be commended for its guidance on this issue. Our denominational health insurance includes coverage for prescription birth control."

Linda Bales Todd, Staff Executive, United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society:

"The United Methodist Church has an historic, strong stance in support of women's health and family. Ensuring that affordable options are available under insurance plans, as the IOM suggests, would go a long way to helping individuals meet these obligations."

Full versions of the above statements may be read here.

SOURCE Catholics for Choice