On May 2, Politico published the draft decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Organization case, which appears to overturn Roe v. Wade, upending nearly fifty years of access to abortion. Below is a statement from Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), regarding the release of the draft decision:
First, it is important to note that this is a draft decision and therefore not final. As of today, it is still legal for women and pregnant people to have an abortion in the United States of America.
But we are heartbroken and outraged that it appears the Supreme Court is poised to overturn nearly five decades of precedent to take rights away from pregnant people. And we greatly fear that this decision will justify efforts to further limit the rights of women and other vulnerable populations in this country. Furthermore, we know the most damaging impacts of overturning Roe will be felt by people of color, young people, poor and working-class people, and those living in rural areas, all of who even today do not have ready access to comprehensive and equitable reproductive care, including access to abortion.
As we reiterated in September 2021, as Unitarian Universalists, we believe that all bodies are sacred. Every person has the right to determine if, when, and how they want to have children. As people of faith, this commitment is part of our sincerest religious values: Unitarian Universalism proclaims that all individuals and communities have the right to self-determination, safety, and the resources that are necessary for health and sustainability.
As a faith tradition, we are committed to Reproductive Justice, which espouses the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments to safeguard bodily autonomy, and to express one's sexuality freely. In 2015, we issued a Statement of Conscience embracing this framework, which was created by women of color in the 1990s. We remain dedicated to this work.
Comprehensive reproductive care, including access to abortion, is essential to the health and well-being of women and pregnant people. We will continue to work with those most impacted by this harmful decision to fight for permanent state and federal legislation that codifies and enshrines the right to access abortion care. Our faith still urgently calls us to advocate on behalf of all people to be able to readily access safe, legal abortion care whenever and wherever they need it. We will not rest until that reality is true across the country.