CCAR Slams Deceptive Media Campaign and Congressional Calls to Defund Planned Parenthood, Urges Members to call Congress in Support of Choice Ahead of Possible Senate Vote
New York, N.Y. – July 30, 2015 –The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the official rabbinic leadership organization of the Reform Judaism Movement, strongly condemns the recently falsehood-laden media campaign to discredit Planned Parenthood and expresses even stronger disapproval of members of Congress seizing this manufactured moment as an excuse to eliminate federal funding for critical women’s health care. CCAR calls on its thousands of members, the American Jewish community, and the broader American public to call Congress and to speak out publicly and on social media to show their support for women’s health and for Planned Parenthood.
“Reform Rabbis have long been a leading religious voice for reproductive justice,” said Rabbi Steve Fox, CCAR’s CEO. “We believe in affirming the autonomy of every human being, as they were created in God’s image, and we believe women must be trusted to control their bodies and plan their families in consultation with the doctor of their choice, and if they wish, their partners and spiritual leaders.”
In advance of a potential vote this week in the Senate that could eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, CCAR calls for action to dispel the lies peddled by groups like the so-called “Center for Medical Progress,” and to put pressure on Congress not to restrict women’s reproductive freedom.
Contrary to the Center for Medical Progress’s many specious assertions, no federal funds pay for abortion, at Planned Parenthood or anywhere else; Planned Parenthood does not sell fetal body parts for profit, but only recovers costs, providing fetal tissue for critical medical research, with patient consent, in compliance with the law; abortion care represents well under ten percent of Planned Parenthood’s services and affiliate income, which focus instead on women’s health and family planning; and Planned Parenthood works to keep abortion safe, legal, and rare. Cutting funding to Planned Parenthood will only decrease availability of health care and contraceptive care to women across the country, especially low-income women, threatening women’s health, increasing the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy, which therefore leading to more, not fewer, abortions. Also, Planned Parenthood often is the only primary medical option for many women and men in rural America, and federal defunding will just cost these Americans their healthcare.
“We are proud of our members who lead and support Planned Parenthood and its affiliates across the country,” said CCAR President Rabbi Denise Eger. “They’re voicing their support by calling their representatives and saying they stand with Planned Parenthood and for women’s health, and we urge all fair-minded Americans to do the same – speak to your reps, speak out on social media with #StandwithPP, sign onto Planned Parenthood’s letter of support and share your stories if Planned Parenthood has been there for you.”
The Central Conference of American Rabbis, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. It projects a powerful voice in the religious life of the American and international Jewish communities. The CCAR is a mission-driven organization with a clear focus on strengthening the Jewish community through the rabbis who lead it.