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Overturning of Roe Is Not a Win for People of Faith: Ohio Faith Leaders Denounce Dobbs Ruling


Friday, June 24, 2022


Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org

Overturning of Roe Is Not a Win for People of Faith:
Ohio Faith Leaders Denounce Dobbs Ruling

Columbus, Ohio — Today, faith leaders from across Ohio denounced the Supreme Court decision made in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Rev. Dr. Susan Smith

Crazy Faith Ministries

Columbus, OH

“The infrastructure of this country – that which was cracked from the beginning – is slowly, methodically and deliberately destroying the very principles that have been touted as the jewels of American democracy for decades. The people in power have no regard for the ‘rights’ of all people. The overturn of Roe v Wade speaks to that truth. They are taking us backwards, eliminating the rights of even the women they say they have been ‘protecting’ for decades from Black men. This ruling by the US Supreme Court speaks to the widening of the cracks that were baked into the founding documents of this country, and these cracks are not fixable. As women suffer because of this law, the powers that be will laugh and continue to ship away at the rights of all of us. We are not safe, not even those who think they are. This is a sad day for this country.”

Rev. Lesley Jones

Truth and Destiny United Church of Christ

Cincinnati, OH

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade is an unconscionable and immoral act by the Supreme Court. It has criminalized and made unsafe an abortion procedure. It has created another inequity for those who are already the most marginalized in our society: women, Blacks, and poor people.”

Rev. Laura Young

United Methodist Church

Westerville, OH

“The egregious ruling that overturns Roe and Casey effectively enshrines into law a narrow and relatively new Christian religious view not held by the majority of U.S. citizens. The majority of abortions are obtained by people identifying as Christian; the majority of Christians in this country support abortion. This ruling does not reflect the reality of health care needs among all people who may become pregnant. Overturning Roe is the judicial branch legislating a minority religious belief. This ruling is wrong if we hope to be a free county and treat all citizens equally under the law and support every person’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Rabbi Lindsey Danziger and Rabbi Rick Kellner

Ohio Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism 

Columbus, OH

“Today is a tragic day for our country, a devastating day for our souls and a disastrous day for women. The sin of God manipulation has been committed. No one’s religious beliefs should ever be the law for all. For nearly 2,000 years Jewish tradition has supported a women’s right to an abortion and in some cases requires it. The Jewish faith teaches that life begins at birth. Our tradition commands that we prioritize the life of a Jewish pregnant individual over the life of a fetus. Today’s Supreme Court ruling infringes on the First Amendment Rights of American Jews to practice our religion. Our community will continue fighting to ensure pregnant individuals can access the medical care they need.”

Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer

General Minister and President, United Church of Christ

Cleveland, OH

“This is a moral outrage. The Court has signaled they are beholden to religious zealots with a clear minority status over the rights of women. I fear what awaits us now that by his court has shown its willingness to represent that religious minority and cast aside constitutionally protected human rights. As a Christian leader I want to clearly state that their use of religion to end these rights for women is neither Christian nor defensible and threatens to undermine the establishment clause that underpins our Democracy.”

Rev. Ray Greene Jr.

Executive Director, The Freedom BLOC

Akron, OH

“God has granted each human being ‘free will’ and with a stroke of a pen, men have destroyed that right for a woman to make decisions on their own lives for their own health. As a Man of God and a father of seven daughters, I am appalled and distraught at the arrogance and evilness of the Supreme Court to negate what God has made law!”

Rev. Dan Clark (he/him)

Ohio Director, Faith in Public Life

Newark, OH

“My faith teaches me that every person has inherent dignity and worth because they are made in the image of God. This includes the moral agency to make decisions for one’s own life. Yet today a group of extremist judges on the Supreme Court have stripped the American people of the right to seek abortion healthcare. Their agenda, rooted in white Christian nationalism, is an unholy threat to freedom and flourishing. But I know that more than 60% of every religious and ethnic group except for white evangelicals opposed overturning Roe v. Wade, so I hope and pray that our state lawmakers will be responsive and accountable to the people, rather than legislate their minority religious views.”

Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia

Sikh Educational and Religious Foundation

Dublin, OH

“As a central Ohio faith leader, I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision about mandating reproductive decisions of women. If this ruling stands and Congress does not enshrine the right to abortion in the law, male dominated state legislatures will further penalize our daughters, wives, sisters and mothers.”

Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins

Conference Minister, Heartland Conference, United Church of Christ

Delaware, OH

“For many years the General Synod of the United Church of Christ has affirmed the rights and moral agency of women when it comes to determining decisions related to their own bodies.  This has always included the right to the difficult decision which at times results in abortion.   Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade stands in stark contradiction to this affirmation of women having the right to full decision-making when it comes to their own bodies and their lives. We will continue to work for the full reinstatement of these rights while at the same time working to be sure women have access to the full range of health care they deserve.”

Rev. Nelson Pierce

Beloved Community Church

Cincinnati, OH

“For decades now, the truth and love of the Christian church has been corrupted by hatred, greed and violence. This has had a corrosive impact on the soul of the church and a corrupting effect on society. The overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the role that Christianity has played in it is a time for weeping, not a time for rejoicing. It is far past time for the church to shake off the shackles of white supremacy so that we can usher in a revival of love and justice.”

Rev. Dr. Tim Ahrens

Senior Minister, First Congregational Church

Columbus, OH

“Fifty years of hope is dashed by the pen of a man who can’t articulate the law and the majority of a court who can’t see beyond their political right leaning.”

Sensei Glenn Ge Jie Gustafson

Sensei, Central Ohio Center for Pragmatic Buddhism

Columbus, OH

“Buddhist teaching tells us to avoid the taking of life in any form; however, science is unclear on a definitive moment when life begins. Until recently even the Judeo-Christian tradition maintained that life did not begin until the first breath. Today we fully support the autonomy of women to make the difficult decisions on what to do in the case of pregnancy. We hope that they will consult with appropriate others, but ultimately the decision is theirs. It is not the place of the court or government to define life, nor to strip women of the autonomy to control their own bodies.” 

Pastor Hank Osmundson (he/him)

Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio

Columbus, OH

“A society that values every one of its members is one that bolsters their freedoms and supports the choices that allow them to thrive. Human dignity and a recognition of inherent worth demand that people be allowed to make decisions about their own lives, families and futures. The Supreme Court’s decision is both immoral and a supreme overreach of the government and religious beliefs into people’s lives. My faith demands that I advocate for all people to live and believe however they wish; not to force them into ways of living that I deem is God’s way. Justice, Love, and Mercy are of the Divine, and they will prevail.”

Pastor Henneman

United Methodist Church for All People

Columbus, OH

“God created women with dignity, value and worth. God blessed women with wisdom and discernment. The action of the Supreme Court has attempted to rob women of the sacredness of their lives, the well-being of their bodies, and the autonomy given by their creator.”


Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirm our values and the human dignity of all.

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