I am a woman of deep faith and a proud to serve the United Church of Christ and the people of Central Maine in my ministry.

The recent debate about a woman’s right to equal health care and the meaning of true religious freedom has compelled me to speak out. My faith and religious tradition teach that a woman is equal in God’s eyes. We are equal in our voice and our right to our bodies. We deserve access to full health care.

The House convened a group of religious leaders who did not represent women or the voices of many people of faith.

In response, I want my voice to be heard. I am a woman. I am a faith leader. And I ask my government to give me equal rights. The women of this country deserve access to contraception and do not deserve to have our health care dictated by men who claim to speak for God.

Danielle Bartz