We’re Saying ‘No’ to Limits on Reproductive Rights

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Right now, abortion is effectively illegal in the state of Texas as SB 8 remains in effect. Millions of people cannot access critical, often life-saving reproductive health care. Medical providers are living in fear of being sued for treating their patients. And private citizens have been deputized as vigilantes, receiving bounties for bringing lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets” the provision of abortion services to anyone after 5-6 weeks of gestation.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has refused to block this dangerous and unconstitutional law as the legal challenges to it play out. Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to consider two cases: in the first, brought by the Department of Justice the court will consider whether the federal government has the right to sue in federal court to block the law’s enforcement in Texas. The second challenge, brought by a coalition of providers, including Planned Parenthood, will assess the law’s unusual private-enforcement structure, which deputizes private individuals to bring lawsuits against doctors, clinics, or anyone else who facilitates access to abortion.

As Unitarian Universalists, we embrace the reproductive justice framework, which espouses the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments, and to safeguard bodily autonomy and to express one’s sexuality freely. Rooted in these values, we unequivocally declare that SB 8, and any law that attempts to criminalize reproductive freedom—including abortion care—is morally wrong.

As we await the Court’s final decisions, our hearts and minds are with all who want and need access to abortion on all who desire bodily autonomy and seek to live whole lives free of state interference; and on all who yearn to live in a society free of vigilante justice.

And, in addition to our thoughts and prayers, our faith calls us to actively and courageously resist such injustice. Here are some ways you and your congregation can take action today:

  • Donate to support Texans seeking abortions. Give directly to organizations providing direct support and fighting against laws that violate our reproductive rights, such as Sistersong, the collective of Texas abortion funds, Buckle Bunnies, or SACReD – Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity.
  • Join people of faith around the country to learn and strategize. Sign up to attend the SACReD Gathering: Faith Communities Reclaiming Reproductive Dignity and Autonomy, January 25-26, 2022. This event will be a first-of-its-kind virtual gathering of justice-oriented people of faith, activists, and leaders from the reproductive health, rights, and justice community. “Grounded in our shared values of justice, dignity, human rights, compassion, and expansive love, we will discover how faith and reproductive liberation are interdependent through keynotes, panel discussions, and breakout sessions.”
  • Host a Reproductive Justice Sunday in January, 2022. In commemoration of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the ongoing fight for reproductive health, rights, and justice, join UU congregations across the country for a Sunday of solidarity, support, and reflection. We will be providing worship resources (readings, videos, liturgical frameworks) and suggestions for planning your own service in the coming weeks. If you would like to receive more information, sign up here.

May we all commit to fighting for justice and supporting all who are oppressed by laws that jeopardize reproductive freedom.

In faith and solidarity,

Rev. Ashley Horan

Organizing Strategy Director on behalf of the Side With Love Organizing Strategy Team