Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Planned Parenthood “Faith Leaders” Denounce Trump’s Religious Freedom Order


Yesterday, The Weekly Standard reported on a press release from Planned Parenthood claiming that “faith leaders” who belong to the abortion giant’s Clergy Advisory Board are condemning President Trump’s recently issued executive order on religious liberty. According to the press release, which has since been removed from Planned Parenthood’s website, these “faith leaders” worry that Trump’s order will empower religious groups which object to including coverage of certain items and services, such as birth control, in their health insurance plans.

The Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisory Board, according to Planned Parenthood’s website, is a group of “dedicated clergy and faith leaders from different denominations and communities throughout the U.S. [who] lead a national effort to increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health.” The board openly supports the expansion of abortion, and goes so far as to advocate for the shutting down pro-life crisis pregnancy centers which help provide women the emotional and physical resources to have a child.

The board released the following statement on the (since deleted) press release in response to President Trump’s executive order:

This country has a long and vital tradition of religious freedom that protects personal beliefs without allowing the imposition of harms on others. Yet, this executive order signals that the administration wants to give employers the right to disregard their employees’ own personal beliefs and invade their privacy. It is unacceptable to point to “religious liberty” as an excuse to limit women’s access to health care.

The board’s objection to the order interestingly uses a religious liberty argument in order to deny the liberty of others. Their case is, nevertheless, a misleading one — the religious employers in question are not trying to prevent their employees from acting in a certain way, but simply wish to avoid complicity in those actions by being forced to pay for them.

That this fact is lost on Planned Parenthood’s group of “faith leaders” shows how poor their grasp is on the meaning of religious freedom.

Planned Parenthood’s primary Twitter account posted the following in response to the executive order:

A member of the Clergy Advisory Board, Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter, voiced his opposition to the Trump’s order on Twitter as well:

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Diana Valentine

Diana Valentine works for the American Principles Project.

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