All week, we have witnessed the reverberations of a leaked draft opinion which reveals the likelihood that the Supreme will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, and thus throw out federal protections for abortion rights. How does our Unitarian Universalist faith call us to respond to this moment?
For many UU’s, the right to an abortion is a matter of faith. The Unitarian Universalist Association has consistently supported the right to an abortion since 1968. One of the most recent denominational resolutions on the topic was the 2015 Statement of Conscience on Reproductive Justice. Reproductive justice is a framework that was developed by women of color in 1994. The 2015 UU Statement of Conscience reads: “As Unitarian Universalists, we embrace the reproductive justice framework, which espouses the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments and to safeguard bodily autonomy and to express one’s sexuality freely.” The statement is grounded in our beliefs as expressed in three of our seven principles: the inherent worth and dignity of all people, our call for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, and our goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. It is antithetical to reproductive justice that repressive state control be exerted on women’s and all people with uteruses’ reproductive health.
Unitarian Universalism includes a long line of heretics. We have been iconoclastic for centuries, from our 16th-century forebears who first questioned the Trinity, to Ralph Waldo Emerson who questioned the place of the Communion ritual in our worship services. But these are not heresies for heresies’ sake. These are the impassioned and reasoned stances of people who care so deeply about their beliefs as to do something about it. So when we advocate for reproductive justice and abortion access, or any issue that is a matter of faith to us, we can do so as UU’s who are committed to being clear about our beliefs.
There is much to make our hearts heavy with sorrow or fiery with anger these days. Part of living out our Unitarian Universalist faith in difficult or stressful times is to keep making time for our spiritual practices. We need to recognize when it is time to nourish our spirits, when we’re feeling overwhelmed or despairing. We can return to the sources of our strength, again and again. We meditate, attend church, walk in the woods, cook, call a friend, pray, sing, hike to the top of a mountain and scream at the top of our lungs. Our hurting world needs us, souls and all.
p.s. Now you can book a meeting with me online: www.calendly.com/revjolie. I’d love to connect!