New Leadership Institute Will Train Pro-Abortion Rights Religious Leaders

Pay any attention to the conservative right on the issue of abortion and you would think that supporting abortion rights is anathema to religious faith. But at least one Washington advocacy group would like to change that perception.

The Faith Initiative at the Center for American Progress launched its Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute on Tuesday. The Institute “will provide new and seasoned leaders with the resources they need to be effective faith advocates for women’s reproductive health”.

This will include helping left-leaning clergy speak out effectively for abortion rights. The Institute is hosting an initial training session over two days this week and has scheduled another for September. This year the Institute expects to train 20 faith leaders from across the country, including clergy, activists and staff from mainline denominations.

“Religion does support a woman’s personal decision-making about whether she is ready to become a parent,” said Sally Steenland, director of the Faith Initiative at the Center for American Progress. “Too often conventional wisdom pits religion against reproductive rights,” Steenland said. “But for most women there is no conflict between their faith and their commitment to reproductive freedom.”

According to Steenland the Institute has been in the works for two years, but once the Catholic Church and other religious institutions stepped up their attacks on women’s rights the program gained a new timeliness.

“Attacks on women’s health have been especially strong in the past several months – sometimes disguised as a religious liberty issue – which makes the Leadership Institute more important than ever,” Steenland said.

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Photo from suvodeb via flickr.


LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

Eddie O.
Eddie O5 years ago

Sure would be nice if this was the norm, as it should be, instead of the exception. Wake up, people of the GOP, and realize staging a war against women is in no one's best interest! All women deserve respect, and deserve the freedom to choose what's truly right for their bodies, and their lives!

pam w.
pam w5 years ago


Ric E.
Ric E5 years ago

Choice of what to do with ones own body should not be a religious issue but a personal issue. Given that most religious institutions don't understand this, I sure hope this one is real. And I'm an Atheist!

JACarlton Author
jill c5 years ago

I'll believe it when I see what it's REAL agenda is, not a fictitious, fallacious front for religious domination. Never trust an organized religion or its shareholders, or figureheads.

Samantha Shira
Samantha Shira5 years ago

Thank You.

Kristina C.
Kristina C5 years ago

This is a real step toward progress - now if the old guys in Rome would come aboard the world could be a much healthier place!

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

Thank goodness for sane religous leaders, we need more of them, and we definitely need their voices more than ever.

Marianne C.
Marianne C5 years ago

There are a lot of pro-choice denominations and religions organizations. I took the following list from

A number of liberal and mainline Christian and Jewish faith groups and organizations have publicly stated that abortions are sometimes an acceptable option, and should remain legal. According to lists prepared by The Secular Web and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, they include, in alphabetic order:

American Baptist Churches-USA
American Ethical Union
bullet American Friends (Quaker) Service Committee
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Council of Jewish Federations
Episcopal Church (USA)
Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot
Moravian Church in America-Northern Province
Na'Amat USA
bullet National Council of Jewish Women
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church
United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism

Religious groups other than denominations:

Catholics for Free Choice
Episcopal Women's Caucus
Evangelicals for Choice
Jewish Women International
Lutheran Women's Caucus
North American Federation of Temple Youth
Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation
Women of Reform Judaism