Dear First Parishioners,
My heart breaks with the news leaked yesterday that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade this summer, revoking the right to access to safe abortions as a nationwide protection. Though in Massachusetts we have fairly strong abortion access (including through The ROE Act, which First Parishioners fought for in 2019-2020), overturning Roe v. Wade would have devastating consequences for all those who can become pregnant in many states in our union.
I know many of you receiving this message will have had loved ones who faced serious health consequences, even death, before Roe v. Wade, and that there are many of you receiving this message who have accessed an abortion or have a loved one who has. I am so sorry for the renewed pain this leaked draft decision brings up for you. I am enraged that our nation continues to elect, nominate, and confirm public officials who will act to hurt me and those who I love. Any time reproductive choice is limited or eliminated — whether cutting off safe access to abortions or contraceptives — women, girls, non-binary folks, and transmen are put at severe risk physically and emotionally. People who can become pregnant die without safe access to contraceptives and abortion. Equal access to quality healthcare is a human right recognizing every person’s inherent worth and dignity, and abortion and contraceptives are healthcare.
As Unitarian Universalists, we ground our advocacy for reproductive justice in our shared ethics of equality and dignity for all people. We believe that “decisions about children, families and sexuality are some of life’s most profound. We advocate not only for the freedom of those choices in each person’s life journey, but also for the ability of all families and communities to realize a sense of wholeness with regard to their sexual and reproductive lives. We create safe and healthy environments for children in our faith communities and campaign publicly for just and compassionate laws for family planning, reproductive health, and gender equality” (uua.org).
With other Needhamites and residents of Boston MetroWest, First Parish is hosting a Vigil for Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice this afternoon (May 3rd at 5 pm), as part of a nationwide movement promoted by the Women’s March organization. You can find more information on our Facebook page (https://fb.me/e/4HbSlghV6), and we will continue to share information through our social media, website, and Bell Notes about how to support abortion access and reproductive justice locally and nationwide.
I hope to see you this afternoon as we continue our faithful work to support abortion access and reproductive justice. I am with you for the long haul.
Rev. Catie Scudera