We Do Not Consent: Taking Action to Ensure Access to Abortion   2022 Action of Immediate Witness

As people who have had abortions, as co-conspirators and allies for Reproductive Justice, and as thoughtful advocates for family well-being, Unitarian Universalists have a moral responsibility to demand and ensure that abortion protections are codified into law. The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, requires us to revitalize the commitment we made to reproductive justice in our 2015 Statement of Conscience .

Our UU faith affirms that all of our bodies are sacred, and that we are each endowed with the twin gifts of agency and conscience. Each of us should have the power to decide what does and doesn’t happen to our bodies at every moment of our lives because consent and self-determination are holy. In the words of SisterSong, the Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, we unequivocally support every person’s right:

  • To maintain personal bodily autonomy
  • To have children
  • To not have children
  • To parent children in safe and sustainable communities

Disparities in resources or freedoms make it more difficult for certain groups of people to exercise autonomy over their own bodies. Although we have had the legal right to abortion, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), people of limited financial resources, those with disabilities, and those in the LGBTQI+ community are most harmed by legal and systemic barriers to comprehensive reproductive health care. Our faith compels us to take liberatory action in response to oppression.

Controlling people’s bodies during pregnancy is about enforcing white supremacy, patriarchy, and ruling-class power. Historically, those most affected by reproductive oppression have not been centered. Again, as advocated by SisterSong, we must:

  • Analyze power systems
  • Address intersecting oppressions
  • Center the most marginalized
  • Join together across issues and identities

Resolved: We, the delegates of the 2022 UUA General Assembly, call on Unitarian Universalists to:

  1. Make a personal commitment to educate ourselves about and reflect on our personal connections to reproductive health, rights, and justice, and to act in accountable, sustainable ways.
  2. Organize
  • Within our congregations by beginning small group conversations or joining a Reproductive Justice team such as the Side With Love three-session Congregational Reproductive Justice Organizing Series.
  • To build relationships between our congregations and other faith activists, and then with local health clinics and organizations.
  • Connect to SACReD, the Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity, which is building a multi-racial, multi-faith movement of congregations ;
  1. Advocate for Reproductive Justice by writing op-ed pieces, letters to the editor and legislators, and meeting with legislators. Find out how to contact your elected officials.

  2. Witness by:

  • Speaking publicly as people of faith whose UU theology compels us to work for Reproductive Justice and abortion access for all.
  • Participating in protest events and rallies such as Bans Off Our Bodies, Rally for Roe, etc.
  • Wearing UU Side With Love logo to demonstrate that there is support from faith and religious communities.
  1. Build Networks of Support for Abortion Seekers by:

  • Mapping the human, financial, and infrastructural assets of our congregations and having shared conversations about what each congregation is ready to do to directly support those who want abortions, whether located in a high-access or low-access state.
  • Supporting community trainings on Self-Managed Abortion (SMA), and encouraging clergy to become trained in all-options pregnancy counseling.
  • Connecting directly with local congregations and local abortion funds and providers.
  • Engaging with national networks that are creating infrastructure to support accessing abortion in both high-access and low-access states.
  1. Education:

  • Work to assure congregations provide “Our Whole Lives” education programs for all ages;
  • Consider talking to your minister about telling your abortion story from the pulpit or in other settings;
  • Work with your minister to create a Reproductive Justice Sunday Service;
  • Educate yourself at sites such as Faith Choice Ohio for training.
  1. Fundraising: