Religious leaders assembled at the Fort Worth, Texas Whole Woman’s Health clinic late Thursday to bestow blessing on the clinic and its staff, as well as on the women there seeking abortions.
The religious heads blessed the Fort Worth clinic and bestowed blessings on patients while others sang “Hallelujah,” and prayed according to the Texas Observer.
“Women seeking an abortion are largely women of faith. They’re not having an abortion in spite of their faith, it’s in many ways informing the decision they make,” Religious Institute director of reproductive justice and sexuality education, Kentina Washington-Leapheart said, according to the Observer. “They have a God-given right to make decisions about their life.”
“There are progressive people of faith, even in Texas,” Washington-Leapheart continued. “We’re trying to say [the extreme right’s] narrative isn’t the only narrative related to faith,” she added. Her statements echo Megachurch pastor Carl Lentz’s recent comments that “Some people would say” abortion is a sin, but that “people have to live to their own convictions,” according to Life News. He later changed his mind, writing that abortion is a sin on Twitter after receiving significant backlash from the religious community. (Related: Megachurch Pastor Refuses To Condemn Abortion).
Organizers of the event told the Texas Observer that they chose the Fort Worth clinic because the women who come there for services are blacks or minorities who don’t always have access to affordable health care. “When thinking about access, we have to think about how race and class impact access,” Washington-Leapheart told The Observer.
Their blessings come after a slew of Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) abortion clinics failed inspection reports between 2011 and 2017, the Free Beacon reported in conjunction with the nonprofit And Then There Were None (ATTWN). More than 220 abortion clinics between 2008 and 2016 — including six WWH clinics — were cited for 1,400 health and safety violations, according to a 2016 Americans United For Life (AUL) report. (Related: Abortion Clinics Are Crawling With Dirty Health Violations, Report Finds).
Their blessings also follow the ongoing Senate Bill 8 hearings. The legislation bans second-trimester abortion procedures in Texas. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel has repeatedly blocked the bill, arguing that the bill puts an undue burden on women seeking abortions. (RELATED: Texas Judge Blocks Abortion Restrictions From Taking Effect).
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