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
- The Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns: A Prophetic Witness for Gender Justice
- Advocacy for Women’s Concerns and Beyond
- Advocacy Across Borders
- The Cost of Solidarity: Faithful Advocacy for Worker Justice
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!
What is the mission of the ACWC?
The ACWC's primary responsibilities include:
- Advocating for full inclusiveness and equality in the church and in society.
- Providing a prophetic witness to and for the church on existing and emerging issues of women's concern.
- Monitoring the implementation of policies and programs of the PC(USA) related to women's concerns.
- Resourcing and advising the General Assembly (GA) and the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) on issues of concern to women.
- Assisting the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) in maintaining an up-to-date and accurate compilation of GA policy on women's concerns.
- Voicing concerns of women to the Stated Clerk, the Moderator of the GA and the Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, offering information as they fulfill their responsibilities to communicate and interpret policies on women's concerns.
ACWC has adopted a statement from the former Women’s Ministries Program Area
Together we seek to:
- nurture and share the good news of Jesus Christ
- engage in ministries of justice and quality of life on behalf of all women everywhere
- envision and advocate for the wholeness of the church in which women are full partners in leadership and ministry
- encourage and strengthen cultural diversity and work for the full participation of racial ethnic women in leadership
- promote cooperative decision-making within the church
- listen, learn and walk with those on the margins of the church and society
- encourage the theological and liturgical contributions of women
- support the mission of the church worldwide
- Assured of God’s love and grace, women of faith forge a vital partnership with one another.
What is the work of ACWC?
Following each General Assembly, ACWC determines the general focus of its work for the next two years.Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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
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.