The ability to control whether and when to have a child are key to the physical, social and economic health of women and families, and access to legal, safe and affordable birth control and abortion are essential to guarantee that ability.
Every woman knows that the decision of whether or when to become a parent is the most personal and has lifelong gifts and impact. The decision affects her physical health and well-being as well as her family.
We will be better off as a country the more equal we are and the more opportunity we provide for the best and brightest to rise to the top, regardless of the economic station people are born into. Unfortunately, we've gotten away from this conviction over the last few decades.
While Roe v. Wade guaranteed that abortion was legal in America, the last four decades have been a struggle to ensure access to that right. As clergy, I see this problem with a pastoral eye. How is it just to deny a woman access to a constitutionally-protected right simply because she is poor?
Even if you're tired of the rhetoric, disappointed in your candidate, or just daunted by the length of the line or the ballot, please get to the polls to protect the rights of Florida's women and girls.
What is so amazing to me is that people like Todd Akin, and other men who preach the civic virtue of limited government in the private lives of citizens, seem all too willing to insert government into the most intimate private lives of women.
Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld bans in public funding and insurance coverage of abortion in three separate cases. Since then, these decisions have left millions of women unable to access legal healthcare when they need it.
Would so many individuals -- 'Racers for the Cure' and celebrities alike -- rise up in protest? My guess is no, they would not -- and this is the power of the stigma around abortion. When access to health care is limited by money or geography, we cannot afford to limit it further with politics.
As evidenced by the budget showdown that took place last week in Washington, the Republican Party is doing everything in its power to ensure that there are more abortions than ever in the years to come.
As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of his poignant words that a "right delayed is a right denied." This is as true for reproductive rights as it is for other civil and human rights.
Protect life? Respect life? Gimme a break. The very people who prescribe life more than often also prescribe death. And like death row, healthcare, or the dearth thereof, continues to take American lives.