A group of Tennessee faith leaders and activists publicly declared their support for abortion on demand in a letter urging pro-life Gov. Bill Lee to oppose heartbeat legislation.
Fox 17 in Nashville reports this month, more than 150 religious leaders signed the letter calling for abortions to be kept legal and easily accessible in Tennessee.
“Because we trust pregnant people, we know that these decisions are informed by tremendous reflection and not taken lightly,” the letter states. “When a person decides that abortion is their best option, they need community support not obstacles preventing safe access to medical care.”
This spring, state lawmakers have been considering several pro-life measures, including a bill to ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable and another to ban abortions completely once Roe v. Wade is overturned. In January, Lee said he supports legislation to protect unborn babies.
The religious leaders urged Lee to oppose not just the heartbeat bill but “all attempts to criminalize and restrict abortion access.”
They argued that lawmakers should “trust women” to decide whether to abort their unborn babies.
“While there are varied opinions on abortion based on religious beliefs, as persons with deep faith commitments, we affirm a person’s right to decide when to become a parent or expand their family,” they wrote. “As people of faith and as Tennesseans, we believe in loving our neighbors and treating one another as we would like to be treated — with compassion, dignity, and respect.”
Yet, they have no compassion or respect for unborn babies who are unique, living human beings from the moment of conception. By six weeks, their hearts already are beating, and by nine weeks, they have detectable brain waves.
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However, religious leaders said the decision to end unborn babies’ lives should be left up to the mother.
“While decisions concerning pregnancy can be complex and difficult, I believe that all persons have the right to make decisions for themselves, in consultation with their doctors and faith leader where appropriate,” said the Rev. Judi Hoffman, a co-pastor at East End Methodist Church in Nashville who signed the letter.
Hendersonville Pastor Napoleon Harris, another signer, told lawmakers they should focus on making sure families can make a “living wage” rather than restrict abortion.
“This decision is one that should be prayerfully made by families – the parents of the soon-to-be-born. This is not a decision to be left to legislators,” Harris said. “If legislators want to act in the best interests of morality and families, both admirable endeavors, procuring a living wage would be a more feasible means to that end.”
The letter was signed by pastors and other religious leaders and activists who identify as Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, African Methodist Episcopal, Catholic, Episcopal, Brethren, Seventh Day Adventist, Anglican and Nazarene – all Christian denominations. Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish leaders also signed, as well a pagan priestess.
Read the letter and see who signed:
Letter to Governor With Sig… by on Scribd