A Faithful Approach to Reproductive Justice
A Jew, a Unitarian Universalist and a Catholic answer questions about abortion. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but in fact, is an apt summary of a briefing for Capitol Hill staffers held earlier this week where RAC Deputy Director Rachel Laser spoke. The briefing was entitled “Faith Support for Reproductive Health and Justice,” and featured speakers from RAC partners Catholics for Choice, National Council of Jewish Women, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and Unitarian Universalist Association. Leaders from all of these communities spoke to recently hired Congressional office staff about ways in which the progressive faith community can participate in reproductive justice advocacy efforts, and why we – as people of faith – believe so strongly in a woman’s ability to make choices about her own body.
This is a mantra that is familiar to the RAC and RAC supporters. It seems like a no-brainer to us that Jewish tradition supports this crucial right to choose – we read it in texts such as Mishnah Ohaloth 7:6, which claims that a woman is forbidden from sacrificing her own life for that of the fetus, and if her life is threatened, she is allowed no other option but abortion. The Reform Movement has long advocated for reproductive justice, asserting that women are capable of making decisions about their own reproductive health.
However, this isn’t a message that always permeates public discourse or media coverage, making it all the more important that we keep letting people know that there IS a progressive faith voice that supports reproductive rights, from abortion access to comprehensive sex education to a budget free of restrictive financial policies. Tell your member of Congress that you support contraceptive access for all women – that you are a part of a religious community that believes in and will stand up for reproductive health and justice.