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. They are organized according to the program priorities that were identified by the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA’s) Reproductive Justice Advisory Group.
Program Priorities: Reproductive Justice at the UUA
As members of a faithful movement for reproductive justice, congregations and groups are encouraged to ground their advocacy in the needs of their community and in partnership with local reproductive justice organizations. They are also recommended to engage their advocacy work along three vital platforms: education, action, and reflection.
First Tier Priorities
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.
Priority states for advocacy on abortion access:
- West Virginia
Immigration Reform and Health Equity for Immigrants
As on reproductive justice, Unitarian Universalists are uniquely positioned to advocate for justice for immigrants. Some of the most harmful effects of the broken U.S. immigration system have been borne by women and parents who are unable to have full control over their sexual and reproductive lives because of their immigration status, race, financial capabilities, or gender identity.
Abortion Rights in the States
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.
Priority states for advocacy against state-level anti-choice laws:
- Washington D.C.
Medicaid Expansions under the Affordable Care Act [Coming Soon!]
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 included important provisions to improve Medicaid and expand its services to millions more low-income U.S. citizens. The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states were not required to adopt these Medicaid expansions, though the new financing rules provided, for newly eligible adults, full federal funding for the first three years, and 90% federal funding after that. Even though the vast majority of the costs of the Medicaid expansions would be borne by the federal government, and adopting the expansions would drastically improve the health and livelihood of thousands of low-income families, some states have yet to take up the new provisions.
Priority states for expanding Medicaid:
- New Hampshire
Partnering with Domestic and Restaurant Workers
Millions of women in the United States make their living working in the restaurant and domestic work sectors, the latter including jobs like home health care aids, nannies, and housekeepers. Women in these fields must often hold two or three jobs to support their family. They benefit from no labor laws, sick days, health insurance, or often, government recognition of their work. Their experience is one that is affected by overlapping oppressions of gender, race, income, and immigration status. They, like all of us, share in a vision of reproductive justice.
Priority states for advocacy with domestic and restaurant workers:
- New York