Sacred Work: Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliances

Sacred Work: Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliances

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In the struggle for reproductive freedom, there are religious extremists at one end and liberal secularists at the other. Lost in this battle and often invisible to the public eye are the religious leaders and institutions that have worked in favor of protecting reproductive rights.

In Sacred Work, Tom Davis brings to light the ways in which the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a leading reproductive rights organization, and the clergy are not as incongruent as they often are construed to be. Although clergy supporters of choice are rarely, if ever, given attention in the media, Davis shows that they in fact play a major role in advancing women’s rights, rebutting right wing arguments, and helping to make (and keep) abortion legal nationwide.

Beginning with Margaret Sanger’s efforts to include mainline clergy in the fight to provide information about contraceptives to the general public, Davis details the religious and historical dimensions of this long alliance up through current debates. Drawing on stories of real women and men who are struggling to be faithful in the face of genuine dilemmas, this book cuts through the politics and semantics that typically surround the issue of reproductive rights.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813539508
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 07/28/2006
Edition description: First Paperback Edition
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Tom Davis is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. He is chaplain emeritus at Skidmore College, where he was also associate professor of religion. He is the chair of the Clergy Advisory Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and writes for its journal, Clergy Voices.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1The Concept of Sacred Work5
Chapter 2Margaret Sanger Recruits the Clergy27
Chapter 3Building Public Acceptance, 1935-195747
Chapter 4The 1958 Battle over the New York City Hospitals72
Chapter 5Sacred Work in Baltimore, 1961-196588
Chapter 6Victories in the Sixties104
Chapter 7Planned Parenthood and the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion, 1967-1973121
Chapter 8The Post-Roe Era, 1973-1992142
Chapter 9Deadly Violence and the Renewal of Clergy Support170
Chapter 10The Future of the Alliance192

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