The Common Good

Catholic and Evangelical Leaders Call on Republican Leaders to Reinstate Abortion Reduction Language to Party Platform

Source: Sojourners
Date: September 1, 2008

September 1, 2008

Contact: Jason Gedeik, Sojourners, (202) 745-4633, media@sojo.net

Catholic and Evangelical Leaders Call on Republican Leaders to Reinstate Abortion Reduction Language to Party Platform

St. Paul, M.N. - September 1, 2008 - A group of seven prominent pro-life Catholic and Evangelical leaders today implored the Republican Party to reverse its decision to remove abortion platform language calling on "all persons of good will, whether across the political aisle or within our party, to work together to reduce the incidence of abortion.” The GOP's move comes as public debate about the abortion issue is increasingly focusing on "common ground” means of reducing abortions, including improving education and increasing health care and economic supports for pregnant women, children, and families.

"The removal of this important platform language is a disappointment to those who yearn for a productive and practical discussion about how to reduce the incidence of abortion in America,” said Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners. "We urge Republican leaders to demonstrate a willingness to bring Americans of diverse political backgrounds together behind common ground solutions to the abortion crisis by reinstating this essential platform language.”

"It is clear that economic and social supports for vulnerable women and families are essential to reducing and ending abortions. Polarization around this issue may serve political goals, but it does not serve women or the unborn. We urge both parties to work for effective policies that reduce abortions,” said Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Last week, Kelley's organization released a landmark abortion reduction study that found a clear connection between availability of family supports and lower abortion rates (available at http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/ blocked::http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/" href="http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/">www.catholicsinalliance.org).

The text of the statement reads,

"As pro-life religious leaders and people of faith who care deeply about ending abortion, we are calling on the Republican Party to restore language in its platform calling for efforts to reduce abortion.”

"The original draft of the Republican Party Platform stated: 'We invite all persons of good will, whether across the political aisle or within our party, to work together to reduce the incidence of abortion; to protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement; and to oppose sex selection abortions. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy.'”

"According to the Associated Press, the Republican Party Platform Committee removed the language calling for bipartisan support to reduce the 'incidence of abortion.' We exhort party leaders to reinstate this language.”

"Too often the abortion debate has been used to score political points, rather than to identify what kinds of public policies will actually prevent and reduce abortions in America. Recent research affirms that social and economic supports for women and vulnerable families are essential components of efforts to end abortion. Policy makers on both sides of the aisle have a moral imperative to enact legislation that will reduce abortions.”

Supporting Religious Leaders:

  • Reverend Jim Wallis, Founder and CEO, Sojourners
  • Alexia Kelley, Executive Director, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
  • Ronald J. Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Brian McLaren, author and chair of the Sojourners board of directors
  • Sr. Sharon Dillon, SSJ-TOSF, Executive Director, Franciscan Mission Service
  • Russell Testa, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network
  • Chris Korzen, Executive Director, Catholics United