Reform rabbis push for family-planning funding


The White House removed a provision from the stimulus bill that would have made it easier for states to fund family planning through Medicaid. The Central Conference of American Rabbis is urging him to use another legislative vehicle to accomplish that goal. Here’s the group’s press release:

Reform Rabbinic Leadership Calls for Quick Action on Family Planning and Comprehensive Sex Education

Like President Barack Obama, the Central Conference of American Rabbis has long held a strong commitment to women’s reproductive health and freedom, and to responsible sexuality education.

Jewish tradition teaches us that health care for all is a communal responsibility.

Jewish tradition insists on truth, and so-called "abstinence-only sex-education" violates the truth when it describes contraception only in terms of failure rates.

Jewish law places saving life above almost every other commandment: the availability of contraceptive care and comprehensive sexuality education save lives.

We are grateful that, during his first week in office, President Obama demonstrated the priority he places on these issues by revoking the "global gag rule," thereby making family planning services available where they are most needed around the world.

In the last week, some family planning advocates were disappointed, when President Obama asked that family planning funding be removed from the economic stimulus bill before the U.S. Representatives.

Whether enhanced funding for family planning and comprehensive, medically accurate sex education is provided through a stimulus package or some other vehicle, we call upon President Obama, his administration, and the leadership of both Houses of Congress to assure that action is taken on these critical issues in the opening weeks of this new Administration and Congress.

Peter S. Knobel                                    Steven A. Fox
President                                          Executive Vice-President

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