This week, a draft from the Supreme Court of the United States overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public. Taking an originalist view of the Constitution, Justice Alito states in this draft that “the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision…” Though this is only a draft and no decision has been made, the overturning of Roe v. Wade would eliminate the federal protection of people who can conceive to have an abortion and possibly other reproductive health measures. So, the question is, what do people of faith continue to do now? Here are just 7 things people of faith can do to continue the fight for reproductive health and justice in America:
1. Spread the FACTS
Though abortion has been clouded by religious backed pro-life movements and rhetoric, data shows that many mainline and progressive denominations and churches are actually pro-choice. This includes the policies of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Plus, the majority of the American people want to keep Roe v. Wade. There are also medical and psychological facts that are often misconstrued when it comes to reproductive health. Banning abortions will not stop abortions, it will only stop safe abortions. Know the facts and spread the facts.
2. Donate to local health clinics
Many reproductive health clinics are supported through donations. Research your local clinics and help them financially. Other social justice organizations such as SisterSong not only promote reproductive justice but also the education and continued work of protecting the civil right of womxn, girls, and femmes of color.
People who need reproductive health care are sometimes alone, scared, and often shamed by family, protestors, and, yes, church members. Volunteer and train to accompany someone as they are making their way to a clinic or join a group that offers this service to people seeking care. Your presence can make all the difference.
4. churches, speak up!
Christianity does not have a monolithic view on reproductive rights. However, the ones that speak out against reproductive health are usually the loudest voices using widespread networks to get out that message. People of faith that advocate for reproductive health and justice need to find ways to magnify their voice and to not be afraid to do so. Sermons, live streams on social media, podcast, and other forms of media can help in advocating for reproductive rights. If you are in need of some assistance in this area the Center for Reproductive Rights is a great place to start.
5. Think Creatively
The overturning of Roe v. Wade would also immediately enact trigger laws in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. These laws would ban abortion in the state upon the overturning of Roe. Many women and people who need reproductive care in those states may need help in transportation, housing, assistance, and other needs as they make their way to get the care they need. How do we help to meet these needs in creative and equitable ways? How can you work collectively with others in your area?
6. Support Pro-Choice Candidates
The mid-terms have started and it is important that people of faith are engaged with candidates who support reproductive health. This means local, state, and federal candidates who can make the difference. The more pro-reproductive health candidates, the easier it would be to codify Roe v. Wade. Call your representatives and advocate for the Women’s Health Protections Acts of 2021.
7. Pray is an action verb.
Never underestimate the power of prayer. As people of faith, we must understand that there is no belief in Jesus that does not contain a component of commitment to justice. We must remember that God cares about these issues and our prayers are important. We pray in our private time with God and we pray in public with our actions towards fairness for all. Both are important and necessary.