While some Christian leaders and organizations in the state are condemning the list of recommendations, other out-of-state faith leaders are applauding California’s abortion sanctuary plans.
To the Rev. Amelia Fulbright, who pastors the Congregational Church of Austin, it was a sense of relief hearing about California’s plans to make it easier for out-of-state people to access abortion care.
“Anything that can be done to make it easier for pregnant people to access abortion care when they need it, is welcome at this point,” said Fulbright.
Fulbright is among a number of faith leaders advocating for reproductive healthcare access in Texas, where a new law allows anyone to sue those who help a pregnant person get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
“In Texas, we have a state abortion fund and we have clergy who are helping people get to nearby states where they can get abortion care, but we’re hearing that nearby states are already feeling strained by the extra patients coming from Texas,” added Fulbright.
To Fulbright, it’s been crucial that people of faith reclaim the public discourse around reproductive health from what she sees as “the grip of patriarchal religion and politics.”
But to Domingo, the abortion council’s recommendations are “disappointing and deceptive.”
Soon after the California Future of Abortion Council released its report, Domingo issued a lengthy statement on behalf of the California Catholic Conference, highlighting how “most egregiously, the report calls for violating conscience protection for medical students by forcing them to be trained in abortion procedures.”
“And, it seeks to force Catholic healthcare to either offer abortions or go out of business, particularly in remote regions where Catholic hospitals provide services for some of the most underserved people in the state,” Domingo detailed in her statement.
Christian groups are also rallying around the state’s estimated 160 pregnancy resource centers, many of which are near abortion clinics, in hopes people might seek their counseling before choosing abortion.
Jonathan Keller, president and CEO of the California Family Council, told The Associated Press that about half of the state’s pregnancy resource centers are medical clinics, while the rest are faith-based counseling centers.
Keller said many of these centers are already planning on increasing their staffing if California gets an influx of patients.