What are these ministers and rabbis doing in front of a Cleveland abortion clinic?

October 19, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Participating in the service at abortion clinic in Cleveland, October 8 (l to r: Rev. Daniel Budd, Rev. Shawnthea Monroe, Rev. Laura Young and The Very Rev. Tracey Lind).Participating in the service at abortion clinic in Cleveland, October 8 (l to r: Rev. Daniel Budd, Rev. Shawnthea Monroe, Rev. Laura Young and The Very Rev. Tracey Lind). Photo: Ohio RCRC Facebook page

Cheers to an interfaith group of 15 ministers and rabbis who held a half-hour service to bless an abortion clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, October 8, carrying signs reading “Pro-Faith, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice” and “Good women have abortions.” The gathering was held in response to “renewed attacks on reproductive health rights” and a vicious anti-abortion atmosphere promoted by “far too many religious people,” according to Rev. Harry Knox, president of the national Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. In a litany at the service, the Very Rev. Tracey Lind, Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, said, “Bless this building. May its walls stand strong against the onslaught of shame thrown at it. May it be a beacon of hope for those who need its services."

Rev. Laura Young, a United Methodist minister and executive director of the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, says that Ohio is facing legislation that could “regulate abortion out of existence.” Seven of Ohio’s 16 abortion providers have closed or limited abortion since 2011, making Ohio second only to Texas in clinic closures as a result of intensified restrictions on abortion. And the TRAP restrictions in Ohio are more severe than most. TRAP (“Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers”) laws range from yanking public funding to casting a net of medically unnecessary standards, regulations, and requirements that are applied to no other outpatient medical facility—including facilities that offer much higher-risk procedures. The Ohio law requires clinics to arrange transfer agreements with hospitals in order to offer abortion services, but forbids clinics from making agreements with large public teaching hospitals. At the same time, most private hospitals are Catholic affiliated and refuse to work with abortion providers.

Rev. Young told the Columbus Dispatch, “Women who have had abortions are being attacked at a religious level, and the faith community has a moral obligation to heal these spiritual wounds.... It is time for the progressive religious community to stop the silence and to believe out loud.”



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