Is there anything more complex than abortion? Forget the religiously/politically/socially charged conversation around it – I’m talking about the act of having or considering having one. THAT is deeply personal and complicated-a truth conveniently (intentionally) left out of the politically charged male-dominated conversation that is ultimately about control. Who has it – whose it is to give and grant and hold – and who makes the rules.
Conversations around pro-life, pro-choice, anti-abortion and reproductive justice are all over the news in new ways these days. In some circles, Christians are waking up to the understanding that ties between the Pro-Life movement and the Religious Right didn’t begin how they might have thought, more people are coming to wonder why abortion has been a wedge issue for women voters, others are wondering if that’s even still the case, and ALL of us are thinking about the Supreme Court vacancy after RBG’s death, and how we want to the person who fills it to land on reproductive justice. All of this conveniently just weeks away from the Presidential Election of 2020. SOMEONE GIVE ME A NAP.
Rather than writing something perfectly scripted and ready for internet share, I prefer engaging in this conversation – so let me know if you’d like to put a listening circle together. (Email Liz for a recording of this convo with Denise Hamilton Jenna Arnold and I).
I also lift up a podcast I did with Crooked Media’s UnHolier Than Thou: “The Sanctity of Abortion.” On it, you’ll hear first from Monica Raye Simpson, the Executive Director of SisterSong, The National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective (an amazing organization to support & get to know – they’ve defined Reproductive Justice for the rest of us in a beautiful way) then Phil Picardi & I get into the complex marriage of Religion & Abortion.
And, because I’m a nice human, I’ve rounded up just some of the best articles & resources I’ve seen on the topic for you below. Yes – the articles clearly lean a certain way. My theology and experience allow me to understand that race, gender, and class are always at play, and with this topic, Religion as well, thus the resources included reflect a healthy nod to these intersections. Check them out – and let me know what you think and what else you’re seeing.
Reproductive Justice Resources
- The Real Origins of the Religious Right
- How Protestant Evangelicals shifted their abortion stance
- What does the Bible say about Abortion?
- Divisions over abortion and other life and death issues: the problem is not purple churches
- Can Christians come together to reduce the need for abortion?
- Jerry Falwell’s Christian Army
- We are Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden
- The Pro-Choice Movement Finds an Under-Recognized Ally: Religious Groups
- I’m Pro-Life, so I’m Voting for Biden
- I’m a church pastor and here’s the truth about my late-term abortion.
- The Jewish Case for Abortion Rights | Opinion
- There is more than one religious view on abortion – here’s what Jewish texts say
- In Good Faith – Catholics support public funding for abortion.
- The History of Catholic teaching on Abortion Isn’t as Clear Cut as you Think
- Islam & Reproductive Choice
- Women of Color and the Struggle for Reproductive Justice
- Roe v Wade and the New Jane Crow: Reproductive Rights in the Age of Mass Incarceration
- Reproductive Justice and Racial Disparities in Reproductive Healthcare and Abortion Care
- REPRODUCTIVE INJUSTICE: Racial and Gender Discrimination in US Healthcare
- Women of Color Will Lose the Most if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned
- The Rough Road to Reproductive Health Care
- The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker – Mississippi’s Pink House Abortion Clinic
- On reducing abortions, the Hyde Amendment, and later abortions
- What are late-term abortions and who gets them?
- What Happens if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned?
- Is this election all about abortion? It depends on who you ask
- Alabama’s Abortion Ban Is Tyranny of the Minority
- The U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Drop: Once Again, State Abortion Restrictions Are Not the Main Driver
- Study Looks at Impact of Trump Policy On Abortion Rate in Sub-Saharan Africa
- U.S Foreign Policy to restrict abortion funding results in more abortions
- Freedom Road Podcast: It’s Time to Talk about Abortion and Reproductive Justice
- Crooked Media: The Sanctity of Abortion
- How Reproductive Justice Is Part Of an Anti-Racist Agenda with the ACLU
- Reproductive Justice and Pro-Choice via Black Feminist Rants
Organizations to Support & Follow
- SisterSong WOC
- NARAL Prochoice America
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
- In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
- The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
- National Council of Jewish Women: Rabbis for Repro
- Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
- Faith Aloud
While everyone must wrestle with this ethical conversation themselves, my hope is that we do so with an educated knowledge about how words and movements have been constructed to make us feel / believe / vote in certain ways. And, because the personal IS political, it must be said that I firmly believe that to be a single-issue voter on any topic is a privileged and entitled place to land. We must always consider the intersections at play because, as the brilliant Audre Lorde taught us,
there are no single issue struggles because we do not live single issue lives. -Audre Lorde
Let’s keep imagining more for ourselves, for our daughters, for our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, ancestors- FOR US ALL – even our sons to whom the patriarchy, white supremacy, and control hurt as well. We CAN talk about this. We CAN get beyond the noise of how the world wants to control and manipulate even this conversation.
And can we at least agree to be for all the babies?
The ones in the womb, out of the womb, at the border locked in cages, trapped in the school to prison pipeline, disrespected at the traffic light, shot in their homes, disproportionately affected by COVID-19, hungry when they fall asleep at night, unable to do remote school because they’re still waiting on a device to arrive, and babies who’ve grown up to have wombs themselves, carrying the potential for new life, along with the myriad of fears, questions, hopes, and joys that come with it.
Yes, it’s true. I’m Pro all the babies. And I’ll vote to reflect that. How about you?