Toni was pregnant at age 12. Her mother, who was unable to work and relied on welfare, realized that if Toni carried the pregnancy to term, she’d essentially be raising another child, spreading the family resources even thinner. “She wanted better for me,” said Toni. So the light bill and the rent went unpaid and they didn’t have enough food—all so Toni could get an abortion.
- “No Roe Anniversary for Low-Income Women” by Carey Pope; a blog post in Strong Families’ Still Wading campaign, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
UUA Reproductive Justice Alert
Roe v. Wade and Reproductive Justice
Happy Roe v. Wade Anniversary to you! Forty years ago today, thousands of Unitarian Universalists and others celebrated a milestone victory when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States in their decision, Roe v. Wade (1973). The rights affirmed for women and all U.S. Americans in Roe have never been more important than they are today. Unitarian Universalists played a significant part in Roe and other Supreme Court cases leading up to that important decision, and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) led the liberal religious presence in the movement for reproductive choice, as the first religious organization to formally support a woman's right to choose (1963—10 years before it was legal).
With the new commitment to reproductive justice by Unitarian Universalists (2012), we continue the struggle to make abortion access and reproductive justice a reality for every person and community.
Importantly, Roe did not guarantee actual access to abortion. Rather, it simply established some boundaries to how and when states could impose restrictions. Both then and now, too many women—often but not always for economic reasons—face significant obstacles to actually obtaining a safe and legal abortion. Ever since Roe was adopted, abortion opponents have been working to impose as many restrictions as possible, resulting in a significant decrease in actual access to abortion. Never was there a worse year than 2012 for these restrictions being passed into law - we liberal religious advocates must make our voices heard, and soon!
This year—2013—is a year of celebrating our history and recommitting to our future. It is the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion; the 50th anniversary of the UUA making a statement on choice; and the launch year of Unitarian Universalists' new, 4-year commitment to reproductive justice. Join the celebration!
- Check out ways that congregations and other groups can acknowledge these anniversaries throughout 2013.
- This preaching guide (PDF) for UU ministers gives a brief history and background of Unitarian Universalists, reproductive choice, and Roe v. Wade, as well as the context and callings of the reproductive justice movement.
- Today, the Unitarian Universalist Association president, Rev. Peter Morales, joins with the president of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, Rev. Marti Keller, in this joint statement on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
- Also today, the Church of the Larger Fellowship is offering an online worship service, "Reproductive Choices: A Service of Prayer and Reflection" at 3:00pm and 8:00pm Eastern. Join as you are willing and able!
If you or your congregation do something to acknowledge these anniversaries, let me know! I would be very glad to see your pictures, hear your reflections, and help out as I can!
PS: Check out the Standing on the Side of Love’s 30 Days of Love message for the Roe anniversary today. Sign-up to participate in their fantastic 30 Days celebration!