United Church of Christ

Commentary: Clergy Picking Up our Grandmothers' Picket Signs for Access to Abortion

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases about abortion in the next several months. For me and many other faith leaders, we are mourning what has been a constant attack on the legal rights asserted in Roe v. Wade since its passing in 1972. We are looking to the dusty picket signs of our grandmothers and pulling them out to march once again for women’s health and bodily autonomy.

Abortion is part of a wider call towards reproductive justice, as a human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.

Reproductive justice, a framework founded by women of color, includes the choice to parent in safe and sustainable communities. That means that environmental justice is part of reproductive justice. The funding in our school systems is part of reproductive justice. Having fresh and healthy options for food is part of reproductive justice. Healthcare for trans and gender nonconforming people is part of reproductive justice. Racial equity is part of reproductive justice. Access to safe abortion care is one part, along with all of these parts, of reproductive justice.

So as the Supreme Court gears up to hear the cases where many have already been declared unconstitutional at the state level, clergy are gearing up to pick up the tools left to us by our grandmothers, before Roe v. Wade. We are organizing state by state, because of our faith, to make sure that people who need abortions know where to go, and have a way to get there. Abortion Care Network has set up a text line to find out where the nearest operating clinic is. (Text HELLO to 202.883.4620 to find the nearest operating clinic near you.) Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is a strong presence, and organizes clergy to bless and pray over each clinic and choice, among many other things. In Ohio, Women Have Options gathering funding and finding mechanisms to help people get the abortion care they need.

And, here in Ohio, despite the ongoing laws and balances in the court systems, abortion is still legal. As an Ohio Clergywoman, I will be advocating for access to abortion and choice. I will organize my peers to support the people who need access to abortion. I will support Preterm Cleveland as we continue to provide outstanding abortion and sexual healthcare in Northeast Ohio. I will pray for the people who need these crucial, life-saving services, and pray for their spiritual wholeness in a world that tells them they are not worthy. God loves people who have had, or choose to have an abortion, fully: with no reservations, and with abundance.

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