30 Days of Love: 4/30
On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court legalized abortion under most conditions, stating in the majority opinion on Roe v Wade that, “a woman, with her doctor cold choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without legal restriction, and with restrictions in later months. (1) The Supreme Court based its decision on the right to privacy, stating, “the right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the district court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”(2) Despite the language of the Court’s decision asserting that women have the right to determine their reproductive choice, true reproductive justice has not been achieved: several states continue to limit the right to abortion or access to health care related to reproductive choice, and John Hanna, writing on Huffington Post, notes that 40 years after Roe v Wade, “… abortion rights the U.S. Supreme Court decision seemed to guarantee” are still under legislative attack.(3)
The anniversary of Roe v Wade is also an opportunity to reflect upon the larger issue of Reproductive Justice. Reproductive Justice links reproductive rights with social justice, providing a, “framework that focuses additional attention on the social, political and economic inequalities among different communities that contribute to infringements of reproductive justice.”(4)
Reproductive justice is the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Congregational Study Issue (CSAI) for 2012-2016. Within the framework of ‘reproductive justice,’ the Unitarian Universalist Association works against the cultural, political, economic, and structural constraints that limit women’s access to health care and full reproductive choice. Reproductive justice, a concept put forth by coalitions of women of color, promotes the right of all women to have children, not to have children, and to raise their children in safe and healthy environments. It does not isolate or pit important social issues against each other, rather it works to promote these rights across many areas.
January 22, 2013. Anniversary of Roe v Wade.
– Roe v. Wade anniversary resources from the Unitarian Universalist Association
– Roe v. Wade Preaching Resource
– “Comparing Frameworks: What is Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice?”
– “Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling” curriculum for UU congregations
– “Roe at 40″ Infographics
– Quick Stats on Abortion in the United States