As you likely know, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling that overturned the 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling protecting the privacy of all Americans and making abortion health care legal in all 50 states.
While this issue is one of the most polarizing, let us remember the words of Audre Lorde, who reminds us, “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
The Chaplaincy Institute invites, respects, and supports all people who speak to love, dignity, and justice. In that spirit, we believe this ruling represents an erasure of the sovereignty of individuals to make decisions about their own health and bodies.
While faith traditions around the world may hold different formal positions on this issue, we recognize that each person has their own relationship with the Divine or source of Truth and must have sovereignty over their own bodies. We unequivocally support those who suffer because of any injustice — including this one.
We also recognize that there are those for whom this represents a victory. Our deep and abiding hope is that this victory is not permanent, but neither is it pyrrhic for our society which is already experiencing such turmoil and that further harm and degradation of human rights do not occur. May we again remember Ms. Lorde’s words – “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle…” and that we are all connected.
Finally, as a white man, I write this knowing that my own body is not under threat, but this is not only my neighbor’s issue, it belongs to us all. Men, may we all be allies to those with female bodies — specifically those from the most marginalized communities — that are under threat.
We can and must do better.
For those, specifically spiritual leaders, who are or serve those affected, here is a list of resources we hope you find helpful.
· We Testify–leadership and representation of people who have abortion through witnessing and storytelling. Inclusive of queer and trans folks. https://www.wetestify.org/
· Whole Women’s Health Wayfinder https://www.wholewomanshealth.com/
· The Brigid Alliance, addressing primary barriers to access health care https://brigidalliance.org/
· All Options–pregnancy, parenting, abortion, adoptions https://www.all-options.org/
· Faith Aloud–Compassionate religious and spiritual support for abortion and pregnancy clergy counseling and online spiritual resources) https://www.faithaloud.org/
. Clergy training for providing pastoral support for people making difficult pregnancy decisions https://www.faithaloud.org/trainings-materials/trainings/
· Catholics for Choice https://www.catholicsforchoice.org/
· Jews for Abortion Access https://www.jewsforabortionaccess.org/
· Reproaction – increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice https://reproaction.org/
· Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. https://rcrc.org/
· Oklahoma Specific support and information for abortion care https://www.roefund.org
· Center for Reproductive Rights–legal advocacy protecting abortion care https://reproductiverights.org
· Lilith Fund– financial and emotional support for people needing abortion care in Texas https://www.lilithfund.org/
Rev. Andrew Chirch