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The Honorable Governor Bill Lee

1st Floor, State Capitol


Nashville, TN 37243

Dear Governor Lee,

We, the undersigned, believe that all people are created in the image of God, and therefore moral
agents empowered to make decisions based on their own knowledge, context, and relationship
with the Divine. We oppose HB77 and SB1236, and all attempts to criminalize and restrict
abortion access. Bills like these assume that people who find themselves pregnant are unable to
make complex decisions in line with their own morals and informed by their lived reality.

Instead HB77 and SB1236 make legislators the decision makers, not medical professionals, not
pregnant people. These bills take away the bodily autonomy that many of our religious traditions
celebrate and strip people of their ability to choose what is best for their families.

While there are varied opinions on abortion based on religious beliefs, as persons with deep faith
commitments, we affirm a person’s right to decide when to become a parent or expand their
family. As people of faith and as Tennesseans, we believe in loving our neighbors and treating
one another as we would like to be treated — with compassion, dignity, and respect.

We know that this decision is best made in deep consultation with faith, family, and medical
providers. Because we trust pregnant people, we know that these decisions are informed by
tremendous reflection and not taken lightly. When a person decides that abortion is their best
option, they need community support not obstacles preventing safe access to medical care.

These bills will not eliminate abortion, but will force pregnant people to turn to unregulated and
often dangerous attempts to end their pregnancies, and force pregnant people to become parents,
including survivors of rape and incest.

Over 60% of people accessing abortion services identify as people of faith (Guttmacher), yet
many supporters of HB77/SB1236 reference Christianity as the justification for this legislation.
Our legislators would be more impactful if they took seriously the needs of their constituents and
followed Jesus’ example: taking the material needs of individuals seriously, and seeking to heal
and welcome rather than shame and threaten.

Our religious communities often take the lead advocating for justice, dignity, and compassion for
others. It is time for people of faith to speak to our legislators and let them know that we stand
with people making moral decisions about pregnancy. We trust the people who are pregnant to
make their own moral decisions and urge our elected officials to do the same.

Sincerely and in Faith,


Community Minister Lyndsey G Godwin, MDiv, Baptist
Dr. Monique Moultrie, Christian
Paige Elliott
Mrs. Geneva Andrews
Mrs. Carolyn Roberson, Baptist
Rev. Dr. Gordon Gibson, Unitarian Universalist
Senior Pastor Paul Eknes-Tucker, United Church of Christ
Tereva Parham, Christian (Non-denominational)
Ms. Pat Mccollum, Methodist
Ordained Presbyterian Minister Robert D Williams, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Julie Bailey, Presbyterian
Ms. Carole Caprio, Methodist
Mr. James Gingrow
Mrs. Angela M. Dillon, United Church of Christ
Ms. Erika Nelson, Lutheran
Justice Minister Rev. Teresa Smallwood, Disciples of Christ
Assistant Director Mx. Roberta Nelson, Buddhist
Michael D. Le Buhn Jr., Candidate for Ordination—Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Judi Hoffman, United Methodist
Reverend Jennifer Bailey, Founder and Executive Director, Faith Matters Network—African
Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.)
Ms. Elizabeth Manning, Christian
Ms. Suzanne LeBeau, Unitarian Universalist
Mr. Crossville, Christian
Rev. Cheryl Cornish, Pastor, First Congregational United Church of Christ
Reverend Dr.Emilie M. Townes, American Baptist
Ms. McEwen
Dr. Donald Dougall, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Deborah Lynn, Chaplain, Glendale Baptist Church
Rev. Laura Bogle Unitarian Universalist
Ms. Judith Clerjeune, MDiv, Christian
Rev. Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Christian
Dr. Stephanie Budwey, Episcopal
Michelle E. Shaw, Multi-denominational
Lauren Cook, Catholic
Rev. Dr. Courtney Pace, Baptist—Associate Professor of Church History and Director of
Admissions
Minister Cherisse Scott, Christian
Minister Ms. Elise Saulsberry , Christian
Senior Pastor Judy Cummings, Disciples of Christ
Vicar Dawn Bennett, Lutheran ELCA
Dr. Annette Sisson, Baptist
Rev. Christy Jo Harber, Disciples of Christ
Activist Sara Jane Goodman, United Methodist
Rev. Susan Crawford, Episcopal
Cecilia Olusola Tribble, Cultural Educator and Worship Consultant, Baptist
Dr. Elizabeth Nicholson, Christian
Rev. April Baker, Alliance of Baptists
Corinne Rovetti APRN-BC, Co-Director, FNP, Jewish
Rev. Napoleon Harris, Christian
Dr. Jessica Stoiko, Jewish
Dr. Victor Anderson, Baptist—Professor Ethics and Society
Rev. Alaenor F. London, Christian
Dr. Diane Keeney, Brethren
Mr. Eric Brown Jr.
Ms. Samantha Smith, PCUSA
Rev. Erin Racine, United Methodist
Heather Lefkowitz, United Methodist, Lecturer, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Graham Reside, Presbyterian Church, USA
The Rev'd Kira Austin-Young, Episcopal
Mr. Andrew Russell Flanigan, Presbyterian Church, USA
Sarah Grove, Pastoral Counselor and Licensed Marital and Family Therapist
Dr. Ellen Armour, Baptist
Rev. Steve Montgomery, Pastor, Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rachel Ternes United Methodist
Klem-Marí Cajigas, MDiv, Baptist
Reverend William Christians, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher, Christian
Dr. Nabil A. Bayakly, Associate Professor of Biology, Islam
Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein, Jewish
Ms. Lauren Plummer, Glendale Baptist Church
Dr. Jeralyn B. Major, Baptist
Minister Margaret Ernst, United Church of Christ
Johnny Ray Sears, Christian – Baptist: Director, Academy for Spiritual Formation
Shelby Lewis, MDiv Candidate, Disciples of Christ
Arelis Benitez, Chaplain, Seventh-day Adventist
Ms. Charlotte Hoigard, Catholic
Ms. Stephanie Powers, United Methodist
Elizabeth Gedmark, Christian
Ms. Bianca Powell, Christian
Jordan Scruggs, Believer, Christian / Non-denominational
Mrs. Catherine Hutchison, Presbyterian
Ms. Melissa Lee, Catholic
Ms. Charlene Rice, Baptist
Peninah Botwinick
Dr. Donna W. Sherwood, unchurched Baptist
Ms. Janis Tilton, Methodist
Mrs. Kate Harrison, Episcopalian
Ms. Susan Cardwell, Methodist
Ms. Lauren Hulse, Unitarian Universalist
Laurie Ewasek , Catholic
Ms. Ava McDaniel, Episcopalian
Ms. Samara Duncan, Methodist
Mary Naylor, Christian, Municipal Employee
Ms. Ashton Dunn, Presbyterian
Ms. Nina Goad, Christian
Ms. Lorena Roberts, Christian
Cara Doidge Kilgore, Christian, Manager at national interfaith organization
Amanda Creech, Nazarene
Kate Tucker, Christian, Artist
Will Lasley, Christian
Ms. Dianna McCullough, Baptist
Mr. Geoffrey Bates, Anglican
Mr. Jonathan Holland, Christian
Mrs. Michelle Hefley , Methodist
Mrs. Cookeville, Universalist Unitarian
Mrs. Valorie Calton , Baptist
Rhonda Thibodeaux, Catholic, Mom
Ms. Venus Lugo Wooten, Episcopalian
Faith Kayr, Episcopal, Mother, grandmother to 8 , provider
Mrs. Virginia Fowler, United Methodist
Mr. Glen Harris, Episcopal
Ben Hunt, Progressive Christian
Ms. Ileta Galau, Christian
Rev. Marcia Free, United Church of Christ
Ms. Cynthia Bennett, United Methodist
Mrs. Marta Parson, Roman Catholic
Ms. Catherine Wood, Episcopal
Dr. Michele Moser, Methodist
Ms. Michelle Reagan, Christian
Loretta A Rittle, MSW, Unitarian-Universalist
Minister Regina Clarke, Baptist
Ms. Maya Koziol, Christian
Mrs. Kimberly Layne Beck, Nazarene
Mrs. Ruth M. Tuft, Episcopal
Mrs. Deborah Neal, Protestant
Priestess C.M. Underdown-DuBois, Pagan
Ms. Emily Green-Cain, Unitarian Universalist
Joey Hodge, Presbyterian, Layperson
Ms. Charlotte Mabry, Episcopalian
Ms. Jackie Ross Flaum, Methodist
Rabbi Shana Mackler, Jewish
Rev. Dahron Johnson, United Church of Christ, Pastor-in-Residence
Ruling Elder LeAnne M McComb, Presbyterian Church USA
Rev. Dr. Mary Louise McCullough, Presbyterian
Chaplain Mary Murphy, Center for Contemplative Justice
Rev. Alison Lutz, Episcopal Church
PhD student Rebecca Wilcox, Baptist
Mary Early-Zald, PhD, MDiv Unitarian Universalist, Intern Minister and Ministerial Candidate
Peter Capretto, Christian, PhD Fellow in Theology and Practice
Ms. Connally Davies Penley, Episcopalian
Reverend Floridia Jackson, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Jeannie M. Hunter, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Ms. Casandra Miller, Roman Catholic
Katherine Smith, Presbyterian Church (USA), Minister of Word and Sacrament, Presbytery of
Middle Tennessee
Becca Ganick Unitarian
Rev. Dr. Eileen R. Campbell-Reed, Baptist
Susie Zuller, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville
Ms. Kimberli Rose Jensen, Christian
Dr. Susan Ford, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Dr. Rosalyn Nichols, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Alandria London, Freedom's Chapel Christian Church (DOC), Church Moderator
Ayanna Watkins, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Deborah Clubb, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Executive Director, Memphis Area
Women's Council
Briana Perry, Christian
Miss Rachel Lesler, PC(USA)
Mrs. Catherine Turner, Christian
Mrs. Catherine Hutchison, Presbyterian
Dr. Owen Phillips, Presbyterian