New & Stories

Coalition for Latino Pastors Testifies Against Abortion Bill

A newly formed coalition of Latino pastors sent representatives to the capitol last week to stand up for the unborn and against Planned Parenthood’s plans to put abortion clinics in their communities. They came specifically to testify against Assembly Bill 2085, a proposed bill that mandates cities approve abortion clinics, effectively stripping local communities of the right to reject such establishments. They had never testified in a legislative committee before, but the California Family Council held their hands and showed them the ropes.

A Call to Action
The Coalición de Pastores Latinos was deeply troubled by the implications of AB 2085. This bill, they argued, not only undermines local autonomy but also misleads women, especially Latinas, into thinking that Planned Parenthood, with its focus on abortion, is the best option for their health care. As they prepared to voice their concerns, the pastors knew they were up against a significant challenge, but their commitment to defending life and their devotion to the Lord fueled their determination.

The Scene at the Capitol
The hearing room buzzed with anticipation. Proponents of the bill, including representatives from Planned Parenthood and various advocacy groups, had already spoken passionately about the necessity of the legislation. They emphasized the need for accessible healthcare, including abortion services, especially in underserved areas. Molly Robson, Vice President of Government Affairs at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, highlighted the struggles faced by their clinics in hostile environments, recounting specific instances where local governments had obstructed their efforts through regulatory hurdles.

The Opposition Takes the Stand
As the time for opposition testimony arrived, the atmosphere in the room shifted. First to speak was Cecilia Iglesias, a former school board member and city council member from Santa Ana, now the Director of the Coalición de Pastores Latinos. Representing over 120 bipartisan Latino pastors and faith leaders, Iglesias delivered a powerful statement.

“Today, I speak in strong opposition to AB 2085,” she began. “This bill mandates that cities must permit community clinics, specifically abortion facilities, and allows lawsuits against municipalities that do not comply. Cities should have the autonomy to regulate businesses based on their community’s values and needs, just as they do with casinos, tobacco, and liquor stores.”

A Moral and Practical Argument
Iglesias’s testimony was not just a plea for local control but also a call to recognize the broader needs of communities. She pointed out the glaring deficiencies in prenatal and maternity care in many areas, particularly in Latino communities. “One in four women receives inadequate prenatal care, 46 maternity wards have closed since 2012, and maternal mortality rates have doubled. It is inconceivable to prioritize expanding abortion facilities while neglecting essential maternity and prenatal care services,” she argued.

Voices of Faith and Reason
Following Iglesias, Pastor Alejandra Espejel, representing Revival One Voice and the Latino Pastors Coalition, echoed her sentiments. As a mother and defender of life, she articulated a deep concern for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of individuals in her communities. Despite Planned Parenthood offering some services women in her community need, “its emphasis and focus on abortion nullifies any positive effort they can make,” she testified.

She concluded with a poignant quote from Psalms 139, emphasizing the sanctity of life: “You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I know very well that your works are wonderful.”

The Pastors’ Stand
Greg Burt, Vice President of the California Family Council, praised these Christian Latino leaders for coming in person to the capitol. “AB 2085 undermines local control, discriminates against comprehensive reproductive care, infringes upon religious liberty, and promotes services harmful to babies and their mothers,” Burt said. “I commend this new pastor network for speaking directly to legislators, urging them to reject this bill and work to support all aspects of women’s health, particularly those related to pregnancy and motherhood.”

The pastors’ first trip to the Capitol was a testament to the power of conviction and the importance of standing up for biblical beliefs. Their testimony against AB 2085 highlighted not only the specific issues with the bill but also the broader need for pastors to engage their culture on one of the most important moral issues of the day. Sadly, this bill did advance with five Democrats voting yes, the two Republicans voting no. As the legislative process continues, the voices of these faith leaders will undoubtedly resonate, reminding lawmakers of the profound impact their decisions have on local communities.


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