Tennessee Pastors Denounce Vote Against Access to Birth Control

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition admonishes GOP reps who voted against protecting access to contraception

A group of pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition admonished the Republican members of Tennessee's congressional delegation as all of them voted against protecting access to contraception in a recent U.S. House vote. The legislation, which ultimately passed, codifies the right to purchase and use contraception.

In a statement, the pastors noted the birth control helps reduce the number of abortions and is an important part of family planning and reproductive healthcare.

"While not surprised, I am outraged and disappointed that all of Tennessee's Republican Congressional Delegation, including my own representative, Chuck Fleishman, voted against the right to birth control," said Rev. Laura Becker, Pastor of Northminister Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga. "We know that the most effective way to lower the number of abortions is to ensure that birth control is affordable and accessible, and voting against the right of contraception while also making abortion illegal means that claims of their desire to prevent abortions are empty and meaningless. Not to mention that some forms of contraception, such as birth control pills, are also an essential part of healthcare for countless individuals who deal with healthcare issues unrelated to preventing pregnancy, including irregular periods or severe menstrual side effects. It is the responsibility of our elected leaders to ensure affordable and accessible health care for all of their constituents, not block access to it."

The group noted that access to contraception can be a key tool in reducing unplanned pregnancies.

"As a Christian pastor, I believe every person deserves access to affordable healthcare and prescriptions, including medications utilized for contraception," said Rev. Dr. Lillian Lammers, Associate Pastor at First Congregational Church of Memphis. "Affordable and accessible contraception is one of best tools we have to prevent unplanned pregnancies, helping to greatly reduce the number of individuals seeking abortions. Additionally, hormonal birth control is also utilized for the treatment of other medical conditions. For a group of legislators to be opposed to any kind of reproductive healthcare means they are disregarding or harming their constituents. Denying us the guaranteed right to contraception is cruel and goes to show that for these legislators, this issue has never been about protecting fetuses, but about exercising control over our bodies."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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