Difference between revisions of "Open Letter from Texas Faith Leaders Opposing 2013 Texas Pro-Life Bill"

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==Text of the Letter==
 
==Text of the Letter==
The following is the text of the letter:
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The following is the text of the letter:<ref name=chron/>
 
:''Dear [Senator],
 
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==Signatories==
 
==Signatories==
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The following were signatories of the letter as at July 18, 2013<ref name=chron/>
 
*Rabbi [[Rick Brody]], Congregation Kol Halev, Austin, Texas
 
*Rabbi [[Rick Brody]], Congregation Kol Halev, Austin, Texas
 
*Reverend [[Beth Ellen Cooper]], Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, The Woodlands, Texas
 
*Reverend [[Beth Ellen Cooper]], Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, The Woodlands, Texas

Latest revision as of 14:30, 18 July 2013

Open Letter from Texas Faith Leaders Opposing 2013 Texas Pro-Life Bill

On July 12, 2013 a group of religious leaders signed onto an open letter which was sent to members of the Texas State Senate. The letter was opposing House Bill No. 2 and Senate Bill No. 1, identical house and senate pro-life omnibus bills, “Relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers, and facilities; providing penalties.”[1]

Text of the Letter

The following is the text of the letter:[1]

Dear [Senator],
We write as concerned Texans from across faith traditions. As clergy from diverse religious communities, we are united in our overwhelming opposition to TX HB2/SB1. As Texans who honor the wellbeing of all and answer to the imperative for justice, we are deeply troubled by the dangers this bill poses to women’s safety, equal access to reproductive health care across the state, women’s dignity, and religious freedom.
The bill’s effect of forcing the closure of numerous Texas reproductive health clinics deprives women of vital services that prevent unwanted pregnancies and disease, offer life-saving cancer screenings, and provide responsible, accurate sexual health education. This bill will disproportionately and unjustly affect rural and economically challenged women and families.
These closures would contradict our various traditions’ teachings about reaching out to the weakest and poorest among us.
Restricting access to safe, legal abortion for those who need it will cause some women severe emotional and physical pain, particularly if the pregnancy is the result of rape or if non-exempt fetal abnormalities are found after 20 weeks. This restriction will lead to an increase in already-present black-market procedures, resulting only in greater harm to women and families.
Prohibiting abortion in this fashion poses a direct threat to the lives of Texas women. Such danger would be an abandonment of our faiths’ compassionate commitments to health and safety.
We celebrate dignity through autonomy. When women must relinquish their freedom and surrender their bodies to the decree of the state, they are stripped of their humanity.
This denial of liberty is an affront to religious teachings of human freedom and a violation of human rights.
The discernment about terminating a pregnancy is immensely complicated. As people of faith, we strongly believe that this discernment should be the prerogative of women in consultation with their own conscience, traditions, families, and care providers.
Imposing one, particular faith-based prohibition on the whole of society is a violation of our religious liberty, our freedom of conscience, and the principles of pluralism that are the foundation of our great nation.
We, the undersigned, represent the faithful commitment of millions of Texans to women’s health, social justice, reproductive choice, and religious liberty. We urge you: defeat this troublesome, coercive legislation.

Signatories

The following were signatories of the letter as at July 18, 2013[1]

  • Rabbi Rick Brody, Congregation Kol Halev, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Beth Ellen Cooper, Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, The Woodlands, Texas
  • Reverend Chuck Freeman, Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry, Austin, Texas / Free Souls Church, Round Rock, Texas
  • Reverend Amelia Fulbright (American Baptist), University Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
  • Rabbi Rachel Kobrin, Congregation Agudas Achim, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Jim Rigby, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Megan Ammann, Pastor, River Oaks Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Fort Worth, Texas
  • Rabbi Larry Bach, Temple Mount Sinai, El Paso, Texas
  • Rabbi Lev Baesh, RN, JD, Director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy at InterfaithFamily.com, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Meg Barnhouse, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Dr. Larry Bethune, University Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
  • Rabbi Jan M. Brahms, D.D., Congregation Beth Shalom, The Woodlands, Texas
  • Rabbi Amy Cohen, Temple Beth Shalom, Austin Texas
  • Reverend Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel (United Church of Christ), Plymouth United Church, Spring, Texas
  • Reverend Dr. Michael Diaz, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston, Texas
  • Reverend Dr. Becky Edmiston-Lange, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston, Texas
  • Reverend Mark Edmiston-Lange, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston, Texas
  • Reverend Dr. Russell K. Elleven, Minister, Westside Unitarian Universalist Church, Ft. Worth, Texas
  • Reverend Pat Felter, Dallas, Texas
  • Rabbi Steven Folberg, Congregation Beth Israel, Austin, Texas
  • Rabbi Alan Freedman, Temple Beth Shalom, Austin, Texas
  • Rabbi Gordon Fuller, Congregation Agudath Jacob, Waco, Texas
  • Reverend W. F. Hathaway, Jr., United Methodist, Round Rock, Texas
  • Reverend Ginny Hathaway, United Methodist, Round Rock, Texas
  • Reverend George Holcombe, United Methodist Ordained Clergy, Retired, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Mary Lu Johnston, University Christian Church, Austin, Texas
  • Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Dallas, Texas
  • Mary Ann Kaiser, Justice Associate & Youth Director at University UMC, Austin
  • Rabbi Neal Katz, Congregation Beth El, Tyler Texas
  • Rabbi Susan Lippe, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Tony Lorenzen, Consulting Minister, The Woodlands, Texas
  • Reverend J. Michelle Mathis, Chaplain, Memorial Hermann Health Systems, Houston, Texas
  • Reverend Marilyn Meeker-Williams, United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas
  • Rabbi Eve Posen, Dallas, Texas
  • Rabbi Adam Roffman, Congregation Shearith Israel, Dallas, Texas
  • Rabbi Matt Rosenberg, Texas A&M Hillel, College Station, Texas
  • Reverend Lynette Ross (United Church of Christ), Cathedral of Hope, Houston, Texas
  • Rabbi Deborah Schloss, Temple Beth Tikvah, Houston, Texas
  • Reverend Tracey Breashears Schultz, Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA), Houston Heights, Texas
  • Cantor Robbi Sherwin, Congregation Kol Halev, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Katrina Shawgo, PC (USA), St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Dr. Terrence Sherry, First Presbyterian Church of Austin, Texas
  • Rabbi David J. Singer, Congregation Shearith Israel, Dallas, Texas
  • Reverend Janice Spence, Chaplain, Retirement Nursing Center and Austin Recovery, Austin, Texas
  • Rabbi David Stern, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas
  • Reverend Jen Stuart, First United Methodist Church, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Troy Plummer Treash, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston, Texas
  • Martin Troyer, Houston Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), Houston, Texas
  • Reverend Bonnie Vegiard, First Unitarian Church of Houston, Thoreau/Stafford Campus, Stafford, Texas
  • Rabbi Shira Wallach, Director of Family Development and Outreach, Congregation Shearith Israel, Dallas, Texas
  • Reverend Mark Walz, Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas
  • Reverend Pamela Wat, Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Denton, Texas
  • Reverend Shane Whisler, Dallas, Texas
  • Reverend Aaron White, First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Texas
  • Reverend Joanna Fontaine Crawford, First Unitarian Church (Copperfield Campus), Houston, Texas
  • Reverend Tom Mitchell, Honorably Retired Presbyterian Minister, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Sid Hall, Trinity United Methodist Church, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Brian Ferguson, San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, San Marcos, Texas
  • Reverend Marisol Caballero, Unitarian Universalist Minister, Austin, Texas
  • Betty Skwarek, Unitarian Universalist Minister Candidate, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Mark Skrabacz, UU Church of the Hill Country, Kerrville, Texas / San Gabriel UU Fellowship, Georgetown, Texas
  • Reverend Linda Bunyard, Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church, Cedar Park, Texas
  • Chris Jimmerson, Unitarian Universalist Minister Candidate, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Michael Fielding Murray, Honorably Retired Presbyterian Minister
  • Reverend Joseph Moore, Central Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas
  • Reverend Mary Wilson, Church of the Savior, Cedar Park, Texas
  • Reverend Katie Meek, First United Methodist Church, Round Rock, Texas
  • Dr. Maureen Killoran, First Unitarian Universalist Church, San Antonio, Texas
  • Reverend Eric Folkerth, Northaven United Methodist Church, Northaven, Texas
  • Reverend Glenda Whitehead, Journey of Faith United Methodist Church, Round Rock, Texas
  • Rabbi Sam Rose, Congregation Beth Israel, Austin, Texas
  • Rev. Dr. Andre Vlok, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Fellowship, Houston, Texas
  • Trish King, Director of Discipleship and Spiritual Development, Strawbridge United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas
  • Rev. Kathleen Ellis, Associate Minister, First Unitarian Church, Unitarian Universalist, Houston, Texas
  • Dr. Daniel O’Connell, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church, Unitarian Universalist, Houston, Texas
  • Pastor Freedom K. D. Gulley, Th.M., Progressive Open Door Christian Center, Houston, Texas
  • Vicki Hopper, Pastor, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, Houston, Texas
  • The Rev Martha Frances, Retired Episcopal Priest, Houston, Texas
  • Rev. David Pantermuehl, Grace United Church of Christ, Houston, Texas
  • Pastor Lura Groen, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas
  • Catharine Cline, Minister of Justice and Social Action, Grace United Church of Christ, Houston, Texas
  • Rev. Dr. Kyle M. Walker, Pastor, Faith Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chron (Keep the Faith Blog): Why SB1 and HB2 are Not in Good Faith-A Letter from Texas Faith Leaders, July 12, 2013 (accessed on July 18, 2013)