Boston, Mass. (June 24, 2022) – The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued its decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Organization case, which overturns Roe v. Wade, upending nearly 50 years of access to abortion. Below is a statement from Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), regarding this decision:
This decision manifests the worst fears of those of us who have been working for decades to protect and affirm reproductive rights.
The overwhelming majority of Unitarian Universalists (UUs) support keeping abortion legal in all or most cases. This is rooted in our Principles and our core religious beliefs that affirm gender equity. It also reflects a moral commitment to the idea that reproductive care is healthcare and is essential to the well-being of individuals and families.
This anti-choice decision by the Supreme Court infringes on our deeply held religious beliefs. Access to abortion and the right to choose is an issue of gender equality, bodily autonomy, and religious liberty, all of which are long held Unitarian Universalist religious teachings.
As I said when the draft decision was leaked in May, I fear this decision will justify efforts to further limit the rights of women, pregnant people, and other vulnerable people and communities. Curtailing reproductive rights will be felt most by people of color, young people, poor and working-class people, and those living in rural areas. The rights of people in more vulnerable communities will only become more limited and diminish healthcare equity. Too many people are already deprived of ready access to comprehensive and equitable reproductive healthcare, including abortion access.
Unitarian Universalists are committed to Reproductive Justice, a framework created by Black women in the 1980s and 1990s, which affirms the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments, to safeguard bodily autonomy, and to express one’s sexuality freely. The UU faith has a long history of collaborating in this movement and advocating for safe, legal, accessible abortion care.
The Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health decision does not alter Unitarian Universalists’ commitment to Reproductive Justice.
Comprehensive reproductive care, including access to abortion, is essential to the health and well-being of individuals and families. The decision to limit this basic human right means that this fight will shift to state legislatures across the country. Guided by our moral values, we are prepared to be a part of that ongoing struggle and continue to show up for Reproductive Justice in all aspects of public life.
Our faith calls us to advocate on behalf of all those who need ready access to safe, legal abortion care whenever and wherever they need it. We will not rest until that reality is true across the country. I urge lawmakers, elected officials, and leaders in public life across the country to take action for gender and healthcare equity for all.