United Women in Faith Concerned About Women’s and Girls’ Lives as Supreme Court Overturns Roe v Wade
For Immediate Release
NEW YORK, June 24, 2022 – As a leading Christian women’s organization committed to the needs of women, children, and youth, United Women in Faith is concerned about the impact of today’s Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, a ruling that had protected women’s rights to legal and safe abortion since 1973. We know from women’s experiences in the United States that the banning of abortions will not end abortions. Rather, women of financial means will travel to areas where abortion remains safe and legal, while many poor and working-class women and girls will resort to unsafe procedures that could cost them their lives, which happened too often prior to the Roe decision.
Over the years, The United Methodist Church has adopted a position on abortion that calls us to respect both the sanctity of unborn human life and the well-being of the mother, while supporting the legal option of abortion by certified medical providers in cases of “tragic conflicts of life with life.” *
As a matter of religious liberty in this country, women are entitled to seek guidance in the privacy of their families and faith traditions or ethical mores in these moments. Religious communities offer guidance on this issue expressly because there are so many differing opinions, questions, and circumstances. The United Methodist Church has provided such guidance for members (The United Methodist Church Book of Discipline 2016, ¶161 K). Other faith communities provide their own guidance. Women must be able to make decisions touching on the multiple lives involved in a pregnancy both because it is a fundamental right and because it is necessary to her free exercise of religious belief.
We call on federal and state legislators to act to protect the lives of women and girls by codifying their right to privacy, to legal and safe contraceptives, and, in tragic conflicts of life with life, to abortions. State-coerced motherhood — like state-coerced sterilization — undermines women’s ability to carefully discern and follow God’s calling in their lives.
*The United Methodist Church on Abortion
“Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child. We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases, we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers.
“The Church shall encourage ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies such as comprehensive age-appropriate sexuality education, advocacy in regard to contraception, and support of initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls around the globe.”
—¶161 K, The United Methodist Church Book of Discipline
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