Presbyterian Peace Fellowship affirms the moral agency of women and all people who can become pregnant. We are resolute in our commitment to uphold the right of reproductive freedom in this nation. Presbyterians have long insisted that “God alone is Lord of the conscience.” In the wake of news that a majority on the United States Supreme Court is poised to overturn the 50-year-old legal precedent Roe v. Wade which protects the right to privacy in reproductive decisions, we are outraged by a decision that denies the fundamental right of individual conscience.
PPF has embraced gospel nonviolence as the only stance consistent with Christian discipleship. We see the deep connection between reproductive freedom and intimate partner violence and fear that if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the court, the decision will lead directly to increased violence against people seeking abortions. We are also concerned that the court’s expected decision will lead to increased violence aimed at reproductive health providers, even in states where abortion rights remain in place.
We know that there are individual choices at the heart of every reproductive decision, and we pray for all those making such decisions. We affirm both the spiritual freedom and the bodily autonomy of the people making these decisions.
As a community committed to the abolition of systems of oppression and incarceration, we also recognize that Black, Indigenous, and people of color are far more likely to be targets of arrest and imprisonment where abortion is illegal, as are poor and working class people. Overturning Roe v. Wade further invests in a carceral state that seeks to criminalize more and more bodies all the time. In the wake of this week’s news, legislators in Louisiana have already advanced a bill that would classify abortion as a homicide and allow prosecutors to charge patients with murder. We have no doubt that poor, Black, Indigenous, and people of color will be targets of such prosecutorial overreach and state violence.
We are sad, and we are angry. We call on lawmakers at the state and federal levels to enact emergency legislation to protect the rights of women and all those who birth to make decisions about their own bodies.
Finally, as we experience the gravity of this moment and the desire to move our bodies into meaningful action, we invite ourselves and our network to practice the principles of accompaniment that inform many areas of our work.
- We go where we’re invited
- We follow the lead of impacted people/communities
- We respect local authority: which in this context leads us to find out what the people who are experts need rather than starting something new (they might need money and not want us up in their business, and that is an ok/good boundary to respect.)
We invite you to turn inward, assess yourself, your resources, and your community and then once you know what you have to offer the movement, reach out collectively, (rather than 100 people calling from 3 churches/communities).
We encourage people of faith to support front-line reproductive justice organizations and providers of reproductive health services, to support abortion funds and clinics, to educate and advocate for abortion rights and reproductive justice, to pray and act for justice, and to connect with local activists and organizations doing the work in your area.