Abortion is one of the most complex and often painful issues facing people who can bear children. As faith leaders, we affirm the right of every individual to follow their personal religious and moral convictions regarding their reproductive healthcare and decisions related to their bodies. We do not say this lightly, because we also believe that every life is a precious gift and a mystery. Every loss of life bears its own sorrow that needs to be acknowledged. Our hearts go out to all the people and their families who face such a difficult choice.

The reasons for ending a pregnancy are manifold and particular to each situation. Abortion is not an isolated matter but intertwined with issues such as complications of pregnancy, access to healthcare and contraception, economic and racial inequities, and violence against women which often results in unwanted pregnancy.

As states can now make their own decisions, we are concerned that access to help will be limited to those who have the privilege and resources to travel to places where abortions remain legal. We are also concerned for health care providers who are facing threats and legal recriminations for offering comprehensive reproductive healthcare.

Putting people who can bear children in a position where they once again may feel a need to resort to unsafe and often deadly attempts to end pregnancies creates further suffering. Abortions will continue, especially as long as we as a society do not provide adequate social supports, health care (including contraception), access to a living wage, affordable child-care services, universal access to comprehensive sex education, and deal with violence against women.

In the face of such challenges, we believe that abortions need to be safe and legal.

Rev. Dr. Ute S. Molitor, First Congregational Church, Camden, UCC
Rev. Patty Fox, First Congregational Church, Camden, UCC
Rev. Elizabeth D. Barnum, United Christian Church Lincolnville UCC
Peggy Smith, Dharma teacher, True Heart Sangha of the Mid-coast
Mr. Robert Wall, Member Order of Interbeing. Member True Heart Sangha of the Mid-coast
Rev. Nancy Duncan, Broad Bay Church, Waldoboro
Rev. Marty Pelham, First Universalist Church in Rockland, UUA
The Rev. Peter Jenks, Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist, Thomaston
The Rev. Lael Sorensen, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Rockland
The Rev Lisa Fry, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Camden
Rev. Abby Pettee
Rev. Kevin Pleas, Retired UCC
Rev. Michelle M. Wiley, People’s UMC, South Thomaston and John St. UMC, Camden

We acknowledge and respect that our views may not be shared by all members of our faith communities.