Congregational Stand on Reproductive Justice

UPDATE: The proposed Stand was approved at the May 2023 Congregational Meeting!

Advocates for Women is looking forward to providing you opportunities to promote Reproductive Justice for all!

Proposed Stand: Reproductive Justice is a Fundamental Human Right

The fragile state of Reproductive Justice in our country has been laid bare.  The overturning of Roe v. Wade galvanized Advocates for Women to propose that EUUC adopt a new Stand on Reproductive Justice.  The congregation will vote on it at our annual meeting on May 21. We hope that as you learn more, you will come to understand why this Stand is important at multiple levels.

Reproductive Justice Defined

UU principles call us to act for justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and to support the inherent worth and dignity of every person. In accordance with these principles, we support Reproductive Justice as defined by the transformational thinking of The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective: it is a “human right that includes the right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, to have children, to not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” Reproductive Justice also recognizes that legal rights are not enough. People must be educated about and have access to the complete range of reproductive health care, as well as self-determination and the right to conscience regarding their bodies. Families should have healthy and safe conditions for raising children. 

A vision of equity and compassion drives Reproductive Justice. The Stand asks us to work to overcome direct threats to Reproductive Justice and address limitations in access due, among other things, to disparities in wealth, environment, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, and ability/disability. It asks us to support policies that help families have children and raise the children they have. 

Is Reproductive Justice a Women’s Issue? 

While there is a tendency to think of Reproductive Justice as a “women’s issue”, when it is denied the emotional and financial costs affect all genders. Furthermore, as previous successful civil rights movements illustrate, Reproductive Justice needs more than the acquiescence of the privileged group – it needs their support.  

The Stand Process

In the past the Congregation has approved four stands, which continue to be used to enhance our voices for Social Justice. The ways Stands can (and cannot) be used are described in this articleTo come to a vote, the sponsoring committee first submits a full proposal to the Board, which describes how the proposed stand furthers EUUC’s mission and vision, and describes  the pros and cons of the issue explores the benefits and adverse consequences for the congregation for taking a stand. Additionally it includes plan to educate the congregation on the topic and describes how the stand would be acted upon. The Stand allows the Board, the Social Justice Council and Social Justice committees to use the name of EUUC when we act. Examples could include waving an EUUC banner at a rally, representing EUUC when we participate in multifaith efforts relevant to a Stand, and using the name of EUUC when we contact legislators about relevant issues. You can download a PDF of the full proposal for a Stand on Reproductive Justice here.  

Education on Reproductive Justice

As a part of the Stand process, Advocates for Women and the Reproductive Justice Work group have offered multiple opportunities to learn about different aspects of Reproductive Justice, with more to come.  These are listed below. Please contact Advocates for Women  for zoom links or more information. If you are unable to attend any feedback session, we ask that you email us your comments. We will be reviewing all feedback on April 20, so please reach out before then.  

Upcoming events

Reproductive Justice Sunday: April 16, on site

  • Sermon: “Building a World with Love at the Center” (Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, UUA) 10-11 am.
  • The Proposed Reproductive Justice Stand. Feedback and Q&A session. 11:30-12:20 pm 
  • Celebrate and Contemplate: Music and Reproductive Justice. Join us as we explore how issues of Reproductive Justice play out in 6 popular songs beginning with Loretta Lynn’s classic “The Pill”. 11:30-12:45 pm. 

April 19, 7 pm via Zoom . The Proposed Reproductive Justice Stand. Feedback and Q&A session. 

Past events

The Proposed Reproductive Justice Stand. Feedback and Q&A session. March, 2023  

Our Reproductive Justice Stories from across the Decades. Members of the congregation reflected on topics ranging from reproductive health care to raising healthy families. March, 2023.

Film Discussion: “Abortion, 1970s.” This short film by a group of prescient women took us back to the early 1970s when Roe was about to become law of the land. Feb., 2023.

 And Reproductive Justice for All. This lunchtime event introduced the congregation to Reproductive Justice, with a focus on intersectionality, access and legal issues, plus how UUs can support it. November, 2022.

Book Discussion: “Take my Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. This novel highlights one of the most draconian forms of birth control forced on poor Black girls into the 1970s – forced sterilization. Dec., 2022. 

How to talk about abortion: a post-Roe mini-workshop. How to  lead with values and follow with facts, and how to shift our language to reclaim the narrative. October, 2022.

Additional events this year included discussions of topical articles on Reproductive Justice at our daytime Cafe Connections.