By Micaiah Bilger
A group of female clergy from Iowa wrote a letter this week to publicly state their support of the abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
The letter, published in the Des Moines Register on Wednesday, included signatures from seven women pastors from the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Episcopal Church, Unitarian Universalist Association, Christian Church (Disciple of Christ) and Unity Church. A note included with the letter said the pastors were not speaking on behalf of their denominations or congregations.
The pastors praised Planned Parenthood’s work and blasted a state bill that would defund the abortion group and redirect tax dollars to community health centers that don’t provide abortions.
“As clergy and as women, we oppose any action by the Iowa Legislature to restrict a woman’s ability to make her own health care and reproductive decisions or to access health care services,” they wrote. “Additionally, we support Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the excellent care it provides for any woman who chooses its health care services.”
In February, the Iowa Senate passed Senate File 2 to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups in the state. The legislation would direct taxpayer funding to federally qualified health centers that provide more comprehensive health care but not abortions. The bill currently is being considered in the state House.
In their letter, the pastors described the bill as “dangerous” and “extreme” legislation that “threatens access to basic health care for low-income women.”