Founded in 1967, the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion was a network of clergy who referred women to safe (though still illegal) abortions. There were 26 ministers and a rabbi at the founding of the network, and more than a thousand when the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision made the organization unnecessary.
The existence of a group of clergy willing to refer women to abortion services was important primarily for two reasons:
- safer abortions: women who consulted with the service could often find more reliable, safer abortion procedures than if they relied on their own informal networks.
- ethical statement: the presence of clergy willing to take professional and legal risks to aid women seeking abortions was an ethical statement, important in changing social attitudes towards the legalization of abortion.