Though the right to an abortion has been federally protected since 1973, anti-choice activists have been steadily eroding those rights every year for almost forty years. More anti-abortion measures were proposed and passed in state legislatures in 2011 and 2012 than ever before, such that now actual access to a wide range of pregnancy-related care is at its most precarious.
All people, irrespective of geographic location, income, or race, have the moral and rational capability to make the right decision in their unique situation. It is not the place of politicians or a nationally-legislated religious perspective to make these decisions for others – these rights must be protected and access to critical health services reopened.
Areas of Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) focus for advocacy against state-level anti-choice laws:
- Washington D.C.
Resources for Education
Films and Videos
- Choice: Then & Now Series
- Jane: An Abortion Service
- The Abortion Diaries
- We Always Resist: Trust Black Women
- 1 in 3: These Are Our Stories
- Jennifer Baumgardner, Abortion & Life
- Karen E. Bender and Nina de Gramont, Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion
- Carole Joffe, Dispatches from the Abortion Wars
- Carole Joffe, Doctors of Conscience
- Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body
- Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta Ross, and Elena Gutierrez, Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice
- Susan Wicklund, This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor
- RH Reality Check: News, Analysis, & Commentary for Reproductive & Sexual Health and Justice
- Guttmacher Institute: State Data Center
- NARAL Pro-Choice America: State Governments
- The Truth about Crisis Pregnancy Centers (PDF, 16 pages)
- Index of Infographics by the Guttmacher Institute
Resources/Opportunities for Advocacy
Organizations with Local Affiliates
- NARAL Pro-Choice America State Affiliates
- National Abortion Federation local independent women’s health clinics
- National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum Chapters
- National Council of Jewish Women Sections
- Latina Advocacy Networks from National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
- Planned Parenthood State Affiliates
- Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Affiliates and Networks
- SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective Member Organizations
- Western State Center Communities
Sample Letter to the Editor
Check out these tips for submitting Letters to the Editor (LTEs).
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/oppose] [name of legislation/issue]. To prevent a woman from making life-altering decisions merely because of another individuals religious or political beliefs is immoral and wrong. 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 of opinions of her state legislators.
The larger agenda behind [legislation/issue] is deeply sexist and goes against my religious beliefs affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all people and our sacred gift of conscience. 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. The work of the government should be providing the fullest range of reproductive health care possible, to the most people as possible.
Sample Letter to State Lawmakers
Dear Senator/Representative/[other title],
As a Unitarian Universalist and a member of [congregation] I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the right of conscience, and the interconnected web of life. As a person of faith, I believe in the goodness of life and am concerned about the quality of life, so I also believe that each woman is capable of making moral decisions related to her body and her reproduction. Each person must have the right to make these choices.
I am writing with [concern/support] for [name and number of proposed legislation]. Deceptive bills which only threaten certain health care services do a significant disservice to women and families in our community, and often threaten a trusting relationship between a woman and her family or her doctor. I hope you oppose this legislation and, instead, support bills that would make our state a safer, healthier, and better place for women and their families.
I look forward to your response.
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
See pags 3-4. This 45-minute reflection time was designed according to the standards of the UU Small Group Ministry Network but can be used by any group between 8-15 people for spiritual reflection.
Unitarian Universalist (UU) Sermons on Reproductive Rights and Justice
Find an index of sermons in the “For Clergy” section of the Congregational Resource Packet.