The Episcopal Church maintains that access to equitable health care, including reproductive health care and reproductive procedures, is “an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being”. Severely undermining those rights will disproportionately affect poor women and women of color. We are God’s hands in the world: it is ours to act to protect women’s health choices.
The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “eliminates federal protections for abortion and leaves the regulation of abortion to the states. The impact will be particularly acute for those who are impoverished or lack consistent access to health care services. ” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has made plain the support of the Episcopal Church’s for reproductive choice in his Statement on Supreme Court Dobbs Decision (June 24, 2022), asserting:
The church holds that “reproductive health procedures should be treated as all other medical procedures, and not singled out or omitted by or because of gender” (2018-D032). The Episcopal Church sustains its “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions [about the termination of pregnancy] and to act upon them” (2018-D032).
Summary of General Convention Resolutions on Abortion and Women’s Reproductive Health
The Conversation provides a thoughtful discussion of multiple religious perspectives on reproduction and abortion, “There is no one ‘religious view’ on abortion,” looking at the issues, and summarizing various Christian, Jewish and Muslim views.
For a discussion of the history of abortion in the United States, see “Abortion Laws in the United States” (Encyclopedia.com). The Pew Research Center provides a nuanced account of Americans’ views on abortion in its recent report “America’s Abortion Quandary.”
Act – Get Involved
New Jersey’s law guarantees access to a full range of reproductive health care. Other states, however, will restrict or outright ban abortion. Joining national organizations that support the right to choose will aid people in those states. Such organizations include:
The Episcopal Public Policy Network (and its Action Alert for Reproductive Rights)
Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy group.
Planned Parenthood: Clinics in those states in which reproductive rights are protected will see a sharp increase in the need for abortion care.
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
God of love, you call us to love one another as you have loved us. We commit ourselves to work for peace, justice, and equality for all women. We pray for an end to the inequalities and discrimination that harm women. We pray that the hearts and minds of those who make decisions that affect women may be opened and that they will be inspired to rightly use their power to alleviate suffering and promote health and wholeness. Grant us the will to ensure that all women have the means to plan their families so that they may flourish. Amen
Justice and Peace Commission
The Rev. Diane Riley, co-chair
Dr. Jody Caldwell, co-chair