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Reform Jewish Leader Hails Introduction of Bill Expanding Access to Family Planning Services

Pelavin: Allowing women to control their own reproductive health is a vital and essential part of promoting responsible family life and respect for the sanctity of life.

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2004 - In response to today's introduction of the Putting Prevention First Act, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

    We enthusiastically welcome today's House introduction of the "Putting Prevention First Act." Reform Judaism has long supported and advocated on behalf of full reproductive choice for all women. Access to and education about family planning services are the backbone of this freedom.

    We reaffirm our belief that women are capable of making private medical decisions according to their own religious and ethical beliefs. Allowing women to control their own reproductive health is a vital and essential part of promoting responsible family life and respect for the sanctity of life.

    All women should have access to and education about family planning services, regardless of their financial situation. The provisions of this crucial legislation establishing parity in prescription contraception coverage, providing appropriate funding for education about emergency contraception, ensuring that sexuality education programs are accurate and comprehensive, and providing funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs are essential elements of giving women real reproductive choice.

    This Sunday, thousands of Reform Jews will come together in Washington, D.C. with individuals of other faiths and backgrounds to support the March for Women's Lives. The March is an affirmation that reproductive choice is a matter of health, civil rights, religious liberty, and privacy -for women in the United States and around the world. The introduction of the Putting Prevention First Act is an appropriate and necessary opening chapter to this historic event.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis(CCAR) whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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