A Vision for Reproductive Justice that Considers The Role of the Religious Right
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Dec 03, 2008 at 01:51:50 PM EST
Rev. Carlton Veazey  president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), recently sent an e-blast to friends and supporters. It was part of an end-of-the-year fundraising pitch in which he linked to a "vision" for reproductive justice for the Obama era and the new Congress.  

I am honored to say that the vision he posted on his organizational web site is an essay "Reproductive Justice and A Comprehensive Social Justice Ethic" that he and Marjorie Signer contributed to  Dispatches from the Religious Left:  The Future of Faith and Politics in America.  

Their chapter, like others in the book, is written from the stand point not only that it is important to know what we are for as well as what we are against; (that is too easy a slogan) but from the standpoint of a clear-eyed understanding of our moment in history and the politics of our time. It is a politics that necessitates and takes into account the Religious Right and the overlapping  comprehensive worldviews behind their anti-reproductive justice political agenda.

You can read Veazey's e-blast on the flip and follow the link to his chapter from Dispatches from the Religious Left.

The Obama administration offers hope for a broader understanding of reproductive health and choice. President-elect Barack Obama is both pro-choice and a person of strong religious conviction, and RCRC will be in the forefront of advocacy for positive programs to support healthy and wanted pregnancies, expand healthcare, and strengthen families.

Let's start by connecting the dots. Reproductive issues such as unintended pregnancy underlie and are connected to our other concerns as people of faith: providing universal health care, eradicating hunger and homelessness, eliminating violence, reducing income disparities, increasing equality and empowering women, and improving environmental quality, among them.

Regressive groups - those that keep the culture wars roiling - will continue to single out and demonize abortion and the women who have abortions, which makes our mission of connecting the dots all the more urgent. The fact is, health, economic stability, education, and other matters of daily life all relate to our private decisions.

It is time for  reproductive health and choice to be accepted as part of a comprehensive social justice ethic.  Please take a few moments to read about this vision and help make it a reality by making a generous donation to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.


RCRC is a coalition of many of the major denominations of mainline Protestantism (the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church USA,) and major bodies and organizations of Judaism and Humanism, among others.  So the vision expressed here is no small thing.

This takes on additional significance, as elements of the Democratic Party are, in an effort to politically appeal to conservative evangelicals and Catholics, jettisoning or downplaying public support for reproductive justice, LGTBI civil rights and separation of church and state.

RCRC is a significant voice for major mainstream religious communions, which I expect will be coming to grips with the challenges of our time in new ways. Indeed, Joan Brown Campbell, opens her introduction to Dispatches with quote from Abraham Heschel:  "There is a time when silence is betrayal... that time is now."




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