Schenectady, NY, Jan 24, 2008 / 11:32 am (CNA).- Religious leaders in favor of abortion gathered on Tuesday to bless an abortion clinic in support of the Roe v. Wade ruling, the Supreme Court decision that mandated legalized abortion nationwide. One Catholic leader described the ceremony as “two-faced”.
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Linda Scharf described the purpose of the event at a new 18,000 square-foot building to the Albany-based Times Union, saying, “It’s a blessing to demonstrate the support of the clergy.”
She said that clergy had long supported Planned Parenthood and the right “to make a personal decision based on their moral beliefs.”
"The clergy were instrumental in getting abortion services legalized in the United States and right here in Schenectady," she added. "I know a member of the clergy who was part of an underground who directed young women to safe abortions before Roe v. Wade."
Governor Eliot Spitzer, Lt. Governor David Paterson, and first lady Silda Wall Spitzer also affirmed their support for Roe v. Wade in a statement.
According to the Albany Times Union, Rev. Larry Phillips of Schenectady's Emmanuel-Friedens Church declared the ground "sacred and holy ... where women's voices and stories are welcomed, valued and affirmed; sacred ground where women are treated with dignity, supported in their role as moral decision-makers ... sacred ground where the violent voices of hatred and oppression are quelled."