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Equity in Abortion Access

Too many women—often for economic reasons—face significant obstacles to actually obtaining a safe and legal abortion. Today, public funding for international and domestic abortions is prohibited by the Helms and Hyde Amendments respectively (policy amendments to federal budget bills which have been added every year for almost 40 years), which single out low-income women and women of color in order to limit the decisions they can make about their bodies, their families, and their health. We should not allow politicians to deny health coverage from someone in need and qualified for Medicaid just to make it impossible for her to have an abortion.

If your state allows for Medicare coverage of abortion, consider working with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) on a national strategy to dismantle the Hyde Amendment. If your state does not yet permit Medicare funding of abortion…well, that’s a great advocacy goal for your congregation and community partners.

Priority UUA states for advocacy on abortion access:

  • Florida
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Oregon
  • West Virginia

Resources for Education

Films and Videos

Books

Factsheets and Research

Infographics

Resources/Opportunities for Advocacy

Organizations with Local Affiliates

Sample Letters to the Editor

  • Check out these tips for submitting letters to the editor.
    Dear Editor,
    There are no easy answers for life’s complex questions, and sometimes that means abortion is the best decision a woman can make in her unique circumstances. That’s why I fully support public and private insurance coverage for abortion. To prevent a woman from making life-altering decisions merely because of how much money she makes goes against the principles I believe in. I believe in every woman’s moral agency – her sacred ability to make decisions for herself – and no woman should be forced into a decision about pregnancy and parenting because she is struggling to make ends meet.
    I hope we can all begin to trust women to make the best decisions for their own lives, whether we agree with those decisions or not. Changing the law to allow Medicaid health insurance to cover abortion is the best answer I can see. (Words: 141)
    Dear Editor,
    I am [concerned/excited] about [pertinent article or current affair]. When a woman decides to end her pregnancy, it is important that she has access to safe medical care. The best way to do this is by providing insurance coverage—whether public or private—so she will be able to see a licensed, quality health provider and make the best decisions for herself and her family.
    Everyone faces different circumstances in life. It is imperative that we safeguard women’s health and well-being no matter what the situation by ensuring that every woman has insurance coverage for maternity care and abortion care if she needs it without potentially harmful delay or interference. When it comes to the most important decisions in life, such as whether to become a parent, it is vital that a woman is able to consider all the options available to her, regardless of how she receives her health coverage.
    It makes sense that health programs for women with low incomes cover birth control and abortion – not just childbirth – because when people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole. (Words: 190)

Talking Points for Supportive State Lawmakers.

  • These talking points were strategically developed for the UUA with coalition partners. Note that they are only intended for meetings with or letters to supportive state lawmakers. If your state lawmaker is not supportive of abortion rights, another tactic—such as a letter to the editor or public witness—might be more appropriate. If you are interested in speaking with your federal representatives, please contact the UUA’s Witness team (socialjustice@uua.org).
  • Find out who your elected officials are.
  • Get tips for your lobby visit or other legislative advocacy.
  • Restoring Equity in Abortion Access: Talking Points and FAQs
  • Messaging Toolkit.  Please note! This toolkit is not to be reposted online or emailed to a wide audience. It is solely for viewing and use by Unitarian Universalists and other reproductive justice advocates.

Organizing within Unitarian Universalism

Acts of Service/Charitable Giving

  • Find local clinics near you or local affiliates of the above-named organizations. There may be a local reproductive justice organization(s) in your area. Search the internet or contact local clinics, women’s studies departments at local universities, or advocacy organizations to find them.

Resources for Reflection

UU Sermons on Reproductive Rights and Justice

Suggestions for Contemplative Practice