RCRC applauds the Unitarian Universalist Association – an RCRC member organization – for once again taking a lead on reproductive freedom. The UUA voted at their national conference last weekend to support reproductive justice as their next congregational action and study issue – a decision that was championed by RCRC ‘s Director of Public Policy, a UU minister, and concurs with RCRC’s new reproductive justice framework. With the UUA joining RCRC in building a religious reproductive justice presence, we may be at the start of a new direction for the “choice” movement and the broader progressive religious community and our social justice allies.
Over the next four years, from 2012 to 2016, Unitarian Universalist congregations across the country will study, reflect, and act on issues of reproductive justice. RCRC looks forward to partnering with UUA congregations to amplify the religious voice for reproductive justice. The UUA in 1963 became the first denomination to take a strong stand on abortion rights and members of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation were instrumental in marshaling support for Roe v. Wade.
Rev. Rob Keithan, RCRC’s Director of Public Policy, urged the UUA General Assembly to adopt reproductive justice as its action and study issue because “The war against women and birth control and abortion is implicitly and often explicitly driven by religious values that are in deep contradiction to our own.”
One of the main reasons for the erosion of reproductive rights is that progressive people of faith have not been vocal enough and active enough, he said. Outmoded anti-women religious views are at the core of the offensive, demeaning and damaging bills that have been proposed and enacted in Congress and legislatures across the United States.
Darcy Baxter, a UU minister, writing for the rhrealitycheck.org blog, said:
“If the vote this weekend was indeed a harbinger of change, what do we want that change to look like? I hold a vision of a reproductive justice movement that is morally and spiritually grounded — indeed, all successful social change movements have been deeply connected to moral and spiritual traditions.”
She argued for a new framework of justice akin to that adopted by RCRC. “…In a world where our connectedness and dependence on one other becomes more and more apparent, arguments based on privacy (“abortion is a private decision”) rely on a dated logic of individualism that not only sabotages our ability for mutual support and collective action, but also cripples our spirits in isolation, alienation, and fear.”