Decisions about children, families, and sexuality are some of life’s most profound. Our Unitarian Universalist faith holds central the inherent worth and dignity of all people, which includes a belief in the sacredness of all bodies, and the importance of self-determination and human agency. As part of a liberatory Reproductive Justice movement, we affirm our commitment to building a world in which all people are able to make choices about their bodies, their health, and their families within safe, thriving communities. In practice, this commitment looks like working to ensure that:
- people of all identities and experiences have access to affirming, affordable health care, including reproductive care and abortion;
- people of every age can access comprehensive, sex-positive, fact-based sexuality education;
- people are empowered and supported to choose when, how, and if they will have children;
- our institutions and communities actively work to eradicate sexual violence, abuse, and coercion, and to heal the wounds of such harm;
- that people are supported to make informed, values-aligned decisions about their sexual and reproductive health throughout their lives.
We advocate for the ability of all families and communities to realize a sense of wholeness with regard to their sexual and reproductive lives. We create safe and healthy environments for children in our faith communities and campaign publicly for just and compassionate laws for family planning, reproductive and sexual health, and gender equity.
- Understand the Current Context: With the recent spate of anti-abortion laws in several states, coupled with the June 2022 Dobbs v Jackson SCOTUS ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, many things are shifting rapidly in the reproductive justice landscape. Side With Love and the UUA issued statements when a draft majority opinion in Dobbs was leaked weeks prior to the formal announcement.
- Watch Revs. Ashley Horan and Rob Keithan at General Assembly 2022 speaking about our shared approach for the work ahead on Reproductive Justice (YouTube, timestamp 1:46:30 to 2:54:30; 8 minutes)
- Know our History: Unitarian Universalists have a long history of advocating for abortion rights and reproductive justice. Read UUA social justice statements about Reproductive Justice and historic statements about abortion, including the 2015 UUA Statement of Conscience declaring that Unitarian Universalists embrace a holistic Reproductive Justice framework and commit to taking action for abortion access, reproductive healthcare, and communities where all people can thrive.
- Understand the Connections: The radical religious right’s strategy to ban abortion is eerily similar to the strategies being used to attack trans and queer people. Watch this Side With Love political education webinar to learn more about how deeply intertwined LGBTQ, gender, and reproductive justice are.
- Our Whole Lives (OWL): Since 1970 we have advocated for and provided age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education. Developed in collaboration with the United Church of Christ, Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a series of curricula for every life stage and is considered the gold standard for comprehensive sexuality education grounded in progressive values.
- Learn about Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Health, and Reproductive Rights Frameworks: Comparing Frameworks: What are reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice? Learn more about how these issues embody UU principles and values with an interactive presentation.
- Two Things Every UU Should Know About Reproductive Justice: “Reproductive Justice” has a broad agenda and is different than “reproductive rights.” The understanding of Reproductive Justice has evolved, and there is no universally accepted definition. However, all definitions recognize that the need for access to resources goes far beyond abortion alone. This is a brief explanation of the two main principles of the reproductive justice framework.
- Host a Reproductive Justice Sunday: As congregational leaders, our commitment to Reproductive Justice should be visible in the streets and in the pews! Access our comprehensive Reproductive Justice Sunday worship hub for guidance on creating a service, including many original written and video resources from a wide variety of UU voices
- Small Group Ministry Sessions: These 45-minute reflection sessions 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.
- Develop Partnerships with Reproductive Justice Organizations: Effective justice ministry depends on partnership. UU partners for reproductive justice work, beyond the Unitarian Universalist Association, include UU State Action Networks, the UU Women’s Federation, and the UU Global AIDS Coalition. UUs also join multifaith partnerships, such as with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and secular partners such as the National Network of Abortion Funds, SACReD, and SisterSong.
- Join UPLIFT Action , our new campaign organizing for LGBTQIA+, Gender, and Reproductive Justice. Together, we commit to growing our skills, deepening our spiritual grounding, honing our analysis, and fighting together for a world in which every body is sacred. Subscribe for updates, view our past trainings, and see upcoming events and trainings from Side With Love and partners.
- Organize for Impact with Local Partners: Connect with other congregations and faith-based organizations, and have a representative reach out to your local abortion clinic or Reproductive Justice organization to ask how you can leverage your people, your infrastructure, and your financial resources to support their agenda. For some ideas about how to organize effectively within your own congregation and community, read this open letter to faith communities, “A Progressive Faithful Response to the Loss of Roe–and More (PDF, 4 pages).”
- Speak Up as People of Faith: The radical religious right has successfully wielded abortion as their issue for decades, and progressive people of faith must speak publicly about the theological grounding and values commitments that underlie our support for Reproductive Justice, Health, & Rights. Write a letter to the editor, speak at a rally, preach a sermon, or post a video about why our UU faith demands access to abortion and reproductive justice for all.
- Take Action through Side With Love’s Action Center: Advocate for policy change on the local and federal levels to expand access to reproductive health care, and ensure that people are able to make choices about their bodies, their health, and their families in the context of well-resourced, safe, thriving communities at Side With Love's Action Center.