Faith & Abortion
In the spring of 2018, as the members of the Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice sat by our computers, listening to floor debate on yet another proposed abortion restriction, it became clear that state legislators proposing these restrictions were backing their arguments up with only one thing - their personal faith. Legislator after legislator, their words focused on the belief that to be a person of faith means opposing abortion access. We knew, however, that this belief doesn’t represent the many members of faith that support OCRJ. Nor does it represent the rich history of faith communities participating in reproductive justice efforts. Out of a deeper dive into the intersection of religion and abortion the idea for Pro-Choice Faith was born.
The Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice is a secular organization and will remain so. Our members, however, come from a wide variety of faith perspectives (or no faith at all) and ultimately each of us feels that our personal convictions compel us, in some way, to practice compassion by fighting to protect abortion access.
Our first step in this campaign was to reach out to a diverse group of Oklahoma faith leaders for guidance and resources. Their enthusiasm for the project and their support was heartening. Even now, we can not thank them enough. We’re comforted to know that so many faith leaders across our state are lovingly helping those faced with the choice of whether or not to end a pregnancy, without judgement or shame.
In nearly every major faith tradition there are circumstances when abortion is an accepted and respected choice. There are even times when it is a mandate. When individuals seek to universally end or limit abortion rights for all women based on a particular understanding of God, faith, or religion, others suffer. Just as some faithful may choose not to end a pregnancy based on an understanding of faith and God, others may choose abortion consistent with the teachings of faith and under the guidance of a loving relationship with God.
The intersection of faith and abortion in Oklahoma, is powerful and deserves to be examined in a more honest and inclusive way than what we have witnessed in recent local debate. Anti-choice folks do not represent the only faith perspective on abortion, in fact far from it. In short, we believe you can support abortion rights because of your faith, not in spite of it.
Watch for our radio ads, our billboards, our web ads, and our news coverage over the next couple months, and expect invitations to in-person events soon. If you have a story to share about your faith informing your abortion rights activism, or what it was like for you as a person of faith to choose abortion, we would love to hear from you! Your perspective is important and it just might help someone like you get through a tough time. Contact us here.