Reproductive justice webinar will take faith-based approach to abortion rights discussion
Access to, and discussion of, reproductive healthcare is not only a political concept, it is a religious one.
This will be the focus of a special online event on Sunday, Feb.11 from 3 to 5 p.m., featuring the Rev. Rebecca Todd “Toddie” Peters. Peters will explore the intersection of faith and issues of reproductive justice.
A feminist and Christian social ethicist who serves as a professor of religious studies at Elon University, Peters is the author of Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice. Her work focuses on globalization, economic, environmental and reproductive justice.
“Changing the Conversation: The Theology of Reproductive Justice” is a collaboration between the National Setting of the United Church of Christ; Friends Congregational Church in College Station, Texas; the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Brazos Valley; and Texas Impact, a faith-based policy and advocacy organization that includes the UCC South Central Conference among its member institutions.
Sherry Warren, UCC minister for women’s and gender justice, believes this is an important conversation.
“It’s critical our congregations feel confident in understanding the issues facing reproductive justice and bodily autonomy,” she said. “Helping congregations find voice through their faith empowers us to continue the work and support of General Synod resolutions committed to the right of all people to have bodily autonomy.
“I’m looking forward to hearing Rev. Peters share from her research with our partners at Friends Congregational Church, and those who join via the livestream,” she added. “When we destigmatize the shame and guilt around abortion, we are speaking love back into the picture.”
Shifting the conversation
Abortions are banned in Texas, and ongoing legal battles have restricted access to abortion services in the state.
“While people may differ in their beliefs about the morality of abortion, wide margins of religious people support legal access to abortion,” said Peters about her participation in this event. “Congregations in Texas are central to helping shift the public conversation away from religious condemnation of abortion and toward a recognition that, for some people, abortion is an act of love.”
Although this event will focus largely on the Christian perspective, Peters is committed to shifting public thinking about abortion from justification to justice. Her work aims to disrupt assumptions about the abortion debate, expanding and nuancing the conversation while fiercely advocating for bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom as religious freedom.
“Faith voices are more important than ever in building a society that empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their reproductive health,” read a statement from Texas Impact about the webinar. “Faith communities have a unique responsibility to advance policies that protect those decisions. Supporting this event is an opportunity to spark necessary discussions that can lead to systemic change in Texas and across the country.”
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