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UUA: Reproductive Justice

BECAUSE, Unitarian Universalists believe that the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the right of individual conscience, and respect for human life are inalienable rights due every person; and that the personal right to choose in regard to contraception and abortion is an important aspect of these rights; and

BECAUSE, we believe in tolerance and compassion for persons whose choices may differ from our own; and

BECAUSE, we believe not only in the value of life itself but also in the quality of life

—Right to Choose, 1987 General Resolution

Our Witness

Are you a congregational leader on reproductive justice? Want to become one? Join our Advocacy Community or signup for our bimonthly Action Alerts to be connected with other leaders and learn more about this ministry.

Roe v. Wade Anniversary: January 22, 2015

Thousands of Unitarian Universalists (UUs) and others celebrated a milestone victory when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States in their decision, Roe v. Wade (1973). Both then and now, too many women face significant obstacles to actually obtaining a safe and legal abortion. Every January, we continue the struggle to make abortion access and reproductive justice a reality for every person and community.

Our Theology

Reproductive Justice

Within the framework of "reproductive justice," the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) works against the cultural, political, economic, and structural constraints that limit women's access to health care and full reproductive choice. Reproductive justice, a concept put forth by coalitions of women of color, promotes the right of all women to have children, not to have children, and to raise their children in safe and healthy environments. It does not isolate or pit important social issues against each other, rather it works to promote these rights across many areas including: abortion rights and access; eradication of violence against women; comprehensive sex education; discrimination based on race and sexual orientation; economic justice; environmental justice; and immigration justice.

Find out more about reproductive justice and the important differences between reproductive justice, reproductive health, and reproductive rights.

Since our inception in 1961, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has passed numerous resolutions and statements addressing reproductive justice.  The 2012-2016 Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) is Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Calling.

Reproductive Justice Advisory Group
The reproductive justice movement is one that was started, and continues to be led by women of color. In order to stay accountable to that movement and to continue to find our unique role in it, the UUA convenes a Reproductive Justice Advisory Group.

Comprehensive Sex Education

The Unitarian Universalist Association has long been an advocate of age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education. The UUA, in partnership with the United Church of Christ, designed and teaches an acclaimed comprehensive sexuality education program that has been widely recognized as a model in the field. The curriculum, Our Whole Lives, is taught in many UU congregations across the country.  

Congregational Study/Action Issue

Reproductive justice is the UUA's Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) for 2012-2016.

The first step to effective action is education. The Unitarian Universalist Association's new reproductive justice Curriculum for Congregations introduces these topics and their theological principles to congregations.

Participate in the Congregational Poll. Your congregation is invited to submit comments on the proposed Statement of Conscience (SOC) and to vote to place the proposed SOC on the Final Agenda for General Assembly 2015.

Our Stories

Do you have a story you would like to share? Please send us your stories by emailing them to womensissues @ uua.org.

Our Resources

  • Reproductive Justice Curriculum for Congregations: Bring your congregation through a thorough introduction to the topics of reproductive justice. Organized on theological principles, this six-week curriculum will help prepare congregations and other groups to meaningfully participate in public conversations on these topics and be effective advocates.
  • Reproductive Justice Alerts: Biweekly email alerts with news, analysis, and opportunities for action. View the archive of past issues.
  • Our Whole Lives (OWL) is the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA's) Lifespan Sexuality Education Curricula, in collaboration with the United Church of Christ.
  • Moving Forward: In-Depth Resources on Reproductive Justice: These materials are designed to supplement the work of congregations that have completed the Reproductive Justice Curriculum and are looking to expand and deepen their reproductive justice advocacy.
  • Congregational Resource Packet: For congregations that are just beginning their reproductive justice journey, get a liturgical calendar, a sample worship, sermon examples and resources, a faith development guide, and much more.
  • Roe v. Wade Anniversary: Thousands of Unitarian Universalists and others celebrated a milestone victory when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in their decision, Roe v. Wade (1973).  Both then and now, too many women face significant obstacles to actually obtaining a safe and legal abortion. Every January, use the anniversary as an occasion to celebrate history and recommit to a future of reproductive justice for all.
  • Mamas Day: Mother’s Day is more than a day for flowers and pancakes. It's a time to highlight the aspects of motherhood that are not usually visible in the greeting card aisles. It’s a call to honor the resiliency of all those who mother, especially those who bear the brunt of hurtful policies or who are weighed down by stigma in our culture. Every May, it’s opportunity to take action to create the conditions so that all families can thrive.
  • Small Group Ministry Sessions: These 45-minute reflection times were designed according to the standards of the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Small Group Ministry Network but can be used by any group between 8-15 people for spiritual reflection.  There are five different sessions available on a variety of reproductive justice topics.
  • Reproductive Justice Advocacy Community Webinar & Conference Call Archive.   Every month, during the first week of the month, there’s something happening in our community. Webinars will be in-depth examinations of a particular topic that is relevant to Unitarian Universalist (UU) advocacy on reproductive justice.  Conference calls will be regionally-based and loosely organized to facilitate your congregation's connection and collaboration with others in your cluster, district, or state advocacy network. Topics will be offered but the conversation belongs to everyone.
  • Three Congregational/ Thematic Approaches to Reproductive Justice Reproductive justice can be discussed in many different frames, especially in the congregational setting. These three distinct approaches can help you adapt a reproductive justice worship service or conversation to the needs of your group.
  • Comparing Frameworks: What is Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice? Learn more about reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice with an interactive presentation.
  • Webinars on Reproductive Justice
  • UUA Statements on Reproductive Justice

Our Partners

Unitarian Universalist

  • Unitarian Universalist (UU) State Advocacy Networks: Each of these networks are locally based and led by UUs working under the basic principle that sustained, positive change is built through the work of organized activists with the courage to challenge and confront oppression. Many of these networks work on environmental justice—find out what’s happening in your area.
  • UU Women’s Federation: This continental membership organization advances justice for women and promotes their spiritual growth. In addition to their grantmaking and justice activities, the UUWF has endowed the Clara Barton Internship at the UUA’s Washington Center
  • UU Global Aids Coalition. The Unitarian Universalist Global AIDS Coalition provides a link between the many Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations actively working to stem the HIV/AIDS Pandemic. Contact Ann Pickar at apickar @ cs.com to begin receiving their newsletter. Also, if your congregation is actively working on HIV/AIDS issues, consider applying to become a Red Ribbon Congregation.

Interfaith

Secular Organizations

  • Strong Families A network of reproductive justice and other organizations that advocate for policies and resource allocations to help all families have the rights, recognition, and resources they need to thrive
  • SisterSong To amplify and strengthen the collective voices of Indigenous women and women of color to ensure reproductive justice through securing human rights
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Working to ensure the fundamental human right to reproductive health and justice for Latinas
  • Forward Together Leads grassroots actions and trains community leaders to transform policy and culture in ways that support individuals, families, and communities in reaching our full potential
  • Advocates for Youth Champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

For more information contact womensissues @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, November 14, 2014.

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