Abortion: It’s Moral!

RCRC intern Molly Goldberg has heard vitriolic anti-abortion rhetoric since she was 8 years old, when her mom was called “a murderer” for supporting women’s access to reproductive health care.

Molly, a participant in the Machon Kaplan summer intern program of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, fears that the pro-choice movement is losing support because we appear to be most concerned with legalisms and rights. She agrees with a New York Times opinion piece that the anti-choice side is winning the hearts and minds of American people because they use moral lingo. This is a serious concern to RCRC. We fight for recognition of the moral agency of women – and all individuals – in matters of sexuality and reproduction and we are committed to infusing our movement with the values and ethics of our religious traditions. We ARE the religious, moral and ethical voice of reproductive justice.

Molly has posted some terrific ideas about how pro-choice organizations can focus on the morality of reproductive health care on the RAC blog, including by: 

  • Appealing to religious values and faith-based constituencies and 
  • Adopting a reproductive justice framework.
She urges the Reform movement to partner with like-minded organizations. 
My work at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has taught me that we can partner with other like-minded faith-based groups, such as the Unitarian Universalist faith community, and use our common moral values to preserve women’s reproductive choice.

Adopting the reproductive justice framework is critical.

A conceptual rubric rooted in reproductive justice acknowledges that women’s issues are not merely matters of health or rights, but rather they are also matters of morality, oppression and barriers to access. Further, abortion cannot be viewed independent of the social factors that influence a woman’s access to medical and family planning services, such as her race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and geographic location.

Molly’s post concludes by urging us to “prove the true moral integrity of our ranks.” We agree!


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