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Advocacy Committee for Women's Concerns
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Courtney Hoekstra
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ACSW Responds to Attacks on Planned Parenthood

The Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns (ACWC) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is committed to maintaining a prophetic voice on behalf of women.  As people of faith, committed to justice, we are troubled by the recent attacks and harassment of Planned Parenthood and the continued assaults on the reproductive wellbeing and healthcare for women.  Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).  Jesus implores us to care for the marginalized and oppressed.

We believe that all women have a right to quality and affordable health care.  Planned Parenthood’s health centers have consistently provided quality, affordable health care in a safe and caring environment.  Close to 3 million women receive healthcare from Planned Parenthood each year.  Among the critical women’s and family health that they provide annually include: preventive healthcare, birth control, 500,000 potential life-saving mammograms, and 400,000 pap smears.  In fact, one in five women turns to Planned Parenthood at some time in her life for professional, non-judgmental, and confidential care.

Although only three percent of Planned Parenthood’s healthcare services include abortions, consistent with the policy of the Presbyterian Church (USA), ACWC believes that the decision for a woman to terminate an unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy is an issue that is deeply layered and complex.  Women, with their healthcare providers, are the only persons informed and equipped to make the best decisions about their bodies, their health and wellbeing, as well as that of their family’s.1

ACWC stands with women who have a right to women’s healthcare services and we stand with Planned Parenthood as a vital provider of those services.

1For more on the specifics of PC(USA) policy, see When You Need Wisdom, Problem Pregnancy Resource produced by the Office of Gender and Racial Justice, Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women, 2010. (pp. 7-10). Available free here

Read articles featuring ACWC
in the latest edition of Unbound

Orange Days: Say No—End Violence Against Women and Girls

Along with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, ACWC is observing Orange Days to work toward a world without violence against women. Find out how you can participate, too!


  • This is for Louise's comment above as well as ACWC's words above. This isn't about women and it isn't about discrimination, it is about false information and needs to be corrected and an apology written. "Distrust, meanness and bullying" are real words aimed at real people but they are false words. I was there I heard what was said in the town meeting, the ACWC and this hurtful message are simply wrong. by Viola Larson on 08/14/2012 at 11:18 a.m.

  • Having been a visitor to General Assembly, I would really like to know who wrote this hit piece? Does the PC(USA) fund this type of slander? Please, we need to know who wrote this and who endorses this. The PC(USA) must stop funding this sort of disgusting stuff now, and those responsible for this statement either need to apologize or face the appropriate church discipline. An apology would be preferable. This is just the meanest spirited thing I've read in ages. by Carolyn George on 08/12/2012 at 6:00 p.m.

  • This really is conduct unbecoming a GA committee: passive aggression at its finest, merging into outright aggression. Never mind the fact that Moderator Presa explained in public that much of the "distrust" he had experienced came from the left, from those who accused him of picking Ms. McCabe and then "dumping" her for a male VM. It doesn't fit the narrative of victimhood. To dissemble like this, and then turn around and accuse others of "violating the peace, purity and unity of the church" - truly shameful. by Andy Scott on 08/10/2012 at 9:14 p.m.

  • When a group, whose purpose it is to advocate for women, becomes reckless with the truth, then it offers no help, but, in fact, harms women's integrity. Director of the network of Voices of Orthodox Women by Sylvia Dooling on 08/10/2012 at 1:05 p.m.

  • When a group, whose purpose is to advocate for women, becomes reckless with the truth, then it offers no help, but, in fact, harms women's integrity. by Sylvia Dooling-Director of Voices of Orthodox Wome on 08/09/2012 at 3:09 p.m.

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