Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling (Congregational Study/ Action Issue for 2012-2016)


Reproductive rights and health services are seriously under attack nationally. Reproductive Justice represents a broader analysis of racial, economic, cultural, and structural constraints on women’s power. The right to have children, to not have children, and to parent children in safe and healthy environments is a human right.

Grounding in Unitarian Universalism

Unitarian Universalist's (UU’s) have been on the frontline of women’s reproductive rights and anti-racist work for decades. The commitment to reproductive justice would reenergize that commitment, and pay attention to the important intersections of race, class and gender. This work would be informed by the feminist theologians, reproductive justice advocates, and UUs in the reproductive justice movement.

Topics for Congregational Study

  • Why is focusing on individual choice inadequate?
  • What is reproductive justice?
  • How do power structures limit individuals’ access to reproductive justice?
  • What are the alternatives for ways to give birth?
  • What moral questions does reproductive technology create?
  • How do sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse contribute to unintended pregnancies later in life?
  • How can eliminating racism, classism and sexism reduce the need for abortion and enable families to care for the children they do have?
  • How are pregnant women who use drugs stigmatized and what are the real dangers and solutions?
  • How can transgender individuals maintain their reproductive rights?
  • How do economic justice and reproductive justice intersect?

Possible Congregational/District Actions

  • Form a Reproductive Justice Committee
  • Join SisterSong as an ally member.
  • Invite SisterSong to conduct reproductive justice training.
  • Educate congregation on reproductive justice, choices in birth and other relevant issues, including presenting a lay service on reproductive justice.
  • Show films about reproductive justice.
  • Present a reproductive justice workshop at district meetings.
  • Advocate for legislative positions that foster reproductive justice.
  • Give money to organizations that help women fund abortions.
  • Create interfaith networks and committees.

Related Prior Social Witness Statements

Additional Information

Online Resources:



  • Baumgardner, Jennifer. Abortion & Life. New York, NY: Akashic Books, 2008
  • Bender, Karen E. and Nina de Gramont, ed. Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, & Abortion . San Francisco, CA:MacAdams/Cage, 2007
  • Murphy, Sheigla and Marsh Rosenbaum. Pregnant Women on Drugs: Combating Stereotypes and Stigma. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1999
  • Roberts, Dorothy. Killing the Black Body. New York: Vintage Books, 1997
  • Silliman, Jael, et al. Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice. Cambridge: South End Press, 2004
  • Wicklund, Susan with Alan Kesselheim. This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor. New York: Public Affairs, A member of Perseus Book Groups, 2007


Congregational Support

Certifying Congregation

Endorsing Congregations