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As we work toward reproductive justice, and commit to replacing insecurity with safety, fear with acceptance, judgment with love, and shame with compassion, we must not forget that there is Implicit racial bias in the delivery of reproductive health care. Racism is the institutionalized system of oppression that designates value to persons based on race/ethnicity. These inequities that result are independent of socioeconomic status access to quality medical care, or insurance coverage. Race-based mistreatment  underlie racial disparities in sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

There are 3 Levels of Racism

in Sexual and Reproductive Health That Result in Health Disparities

Institutional racism

Occurs when large organizations or governments that impose practices that negatively affect equitable access to health services, resulting in the receipt of sub-standard medical care and differences in the quality healthcare outcomes.

 

Personally mediated racism

Occurs when healthcare providers’ preconceived notions about racial groups result in the provision of substandard healthcare and unnecessary surgeries such as hysterectomies.

 

Internalized racism

Occurs when the racially oppressed groups accept the stigmatizing messages from society.


 

 

We support of gender equality, positive sexuality, diverse and sexual expression in the individuals right to make reproductive choices. Some choices are influenced by social and political systems as well as my factors such as:

  • racial cultural identity

  • economic status

  • immigration

  • citizenship status

  • relationship with the justice system

  • health status and ability.

 

Our diverse and pluralistic religious traditions, beliefs, backgrounds, stories and communities directs us to respect the diversity of each other's traditions and beliefs that surround us and insist that no singular religious viewpoint or creed guide these policies.

 

The reproductive justice movement envisions the liberation of people of all:

  • genders,

  • sexual orientations,

  • abilities,

  • gender identities, ages,

  • classes, and

  • cultural and racial identities.

 

Such liberation requires:

  • accurate information about sexuality and reproduction

  • control of personal reproductive decisions,

  • living wages,

  • safe and supported housing,

  • high quality and comprehensive medical and reproductive health care,

  • access to voting and the political process,

  • affordable legal representation,

  • fair immigration policies,

  • paid parental leave,

  • affordable childcare, and

  • the absence of individual and institutional violence.


The world we envision includes social, political, legal, and economic systems that support everyone’s freedom of reproductive choice and expression of gender identity and sexuality, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. In such a world, all communities are places of equality, abundance and safety, free from violence, oppression, and hazardous environments.

 

We unite to strive to live out the very values and principles the colors to work for reproductive justice in spite of the complexities of the issues

 

Decisions about children, families and sexuality are some of life’s most profound. We advocate and campaign publicly for:

  • The freedom of those choices in each person’s life journey

  • The ability of all families and communities to realize a sense of wholeness with regard to their sexual and reproductive lives. 

  • The creation of safe and healthy environments for children in our communities

  • Just and compassionate laws for family planning, reproductive health, and gender equality.

ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE

 

We commit to putting our values into action, striving for equality and justice and honoring the rights, needs and choices of everyone. Affirming the interconnected web of life with justice for all people, we commit to undertake actions that could include the following.

As individuals we can:

  • Study reproductive justice issues, including sexuality, gender identity, classism, ableism, sexual violence, immigration, and racism.

  • Seek to understand and take responsibility for our personal biases.

  • Risk telling our own stories, and be willing to truly hear and trust the stories of others.

  • Work to accept one’s own body, sexuality, and abilities.

  • Adopt spiritual practices that contribute to self-care.

  • Advocate for reproductive justice and related issues through op-ed pieces, letters to the editor, letters and visits to legislators, and direct action.

  • Volunteer with and/or provide financial support to organizations that provide reproductive health services at little or no cost, abortion clinics, women’s shelters, and child and family community support centers.

  • Protest violations of basic human rights, including sexual trafficking and the inhumane treatment of sex workers.

  • Support reproductive health/abortion clinics that are experiencing intimidation and spiritual or physical violence.

  • Effect positive change within our own social circles and professions.

  • Support reproductive justice groups as active participants or accountable allies.

  • Consider these issues when voting.

  • Eliminate barriers (economic, educational, language, accessibility, etc.) to reproductive justice services.

  • Provide leadership in our congregation and community on these issues.

  • Contribute financially to organizations that advocate for reproductive justice issues, including the social determinants underlying racism, classism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression.

  • Work to ensure equity and respect and eliminate discrimination and coercion for all participants in the adoption and foster care system.

  • In our relationships we can

  • Respect all people and their decisions regarding reproduction, even those with whom we disagree.

  • Minister to one another around reproductive health and reproductive justice issues.

  • Be sensitive to others’ stories, respecting their life experiences and lived realities.

  • Accept people of all abilities, identities, orientations, and generations as sexual beings.

  • Accompany anyone wanting support (e.g., while seeking government assistance, in making decisions for their families about pregnancy and adoption, during abortions, and during childbirth).

  • Engage children and youth in dialogue and learning about sexuality and relationships in ways that respect their self-expression and contributions.

  • Seek and accept leadership from people most affected by reproductive injustice.

  • Believe the survivors who share their experience of sexual and/or interpersonal violence. Listen with compassion, offer support, and avoid victim-blaming language.

Your congregations can:

  • Form a reproductive justice group, task force, committee, or interfaith coalition.

  • Invite and consult with reproductive justice advocates and groups to share their understanding and expertise, and/or conduct reproductive justice trainings.

  • Connect religious professionals and lay leaders with organizations and networks that promote reproductive and economic justice and human rights.

  • Encourage religious professionals and lay leaders to participate in reproductive justice-related education and training.

  • Provide ministry and pastoral care that is inclusive of all people and reproductive justice issues.

  • Offer worship, discussion, and small group ministry on reproductive justice issues.

  • Develop and promote congregational statements on reproductive justice.

  • Provide spaces, programs, and teaching for community groups working on reproductive justice issues.

  • Provide education to children, youth and adults that are age, ability, and identity appropriate.

  • Engage children, youth, and adults in dialogue and learning about healthy sexuality and relationships in ways that respect their self-expression and contributions.

  • Join with state legislative ministry organizations and interfaith networks in their advocacy for reproductive rights or organize such advocacy.

  • Communicate reproductive justice information using the congregation’s virtual community networks, newsletters, and orders of service.

  • Implement Safe Congregations guidelines and practices.

  • Continue Welcoming Congregation advocacy and education efforts related to gender and sexuality.

  • Reach out and participate in interfaith and secular work on racism, classism, gender and/or sexual health issues.

  • Welcome breastfeeding in our shared spaces.

  • Publicly witness and advocate for sexual and reproductive justice in the US and around the world.

  • Advocate for just legislation and policies and the rights of families and individuals at the state and federal levels.

  • Advocate for comprehensive reproductive health services, including contraception, prenatal care, abortion, and infertility treatment.

  • Advocate for the right to access comprehensive and medically accurate reproductive health information.

  • Support UU state legislative ministry organizations in their work that supports reproductive justice.

  • Provide curricula, resources, current information, and networking opportunities that congregations can use in their reproductive justice education and advocacy efforts.

  • Collaborate with other faith-based and secular organizations working for reproductive justice and related issues, in order to build a stronger, more intersectional justice movement.

  • Present reproductive justice workshops at district/regional, national, and international meetings.

 

Adapted from the www.uua.org/statements/reproductive-justice
For more information about the UUA’s work for reproductive health, rights, and justice, visit: www.uua.org/reproductive.