Advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth

UUWF Actions for Women’s Justice

September 2018-

Statement On the Kavanaugh Confirmation

We are outraged that the courageous testimony of a sexual assault survivor was disregarded and her worth and dignity superseded by power, privilege, and cowardly political expediency when a majority of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh forward to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

We urge all Unitarian Universalist women and their allies to tell their Senators that they support the announced delay in a vote, pending a thorough outside investigation.

 

September 2018-

UUWF Signs On to Interfaith Letters Opposing Supreme Court Nominee

Despite calls to delay hearings on this administration’s second chance to shape the Supreme Court for years to come until after the November elections, or at least until after Senators have had  the chance to read through much delayed background documents on the current nominee, the hearings have begun.

Shortly before the beginning of the Senate Judiciary committee proceedings on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) the New York Times published an analysis of how a Supreme Court shaped by Trump could restrict access to abortion.  The just departed Judge Anthony Kennedy was described in the article as a “cautious supporter of abortion rights.” Based on what is known about Kavanaugh, if confirmed “the Supreme Court would have a conservative, five member majority that would most likely sustain sharp restrictions on access to abortion in the United States,” the Times speculated.

Even if this court does not overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide as a constitutional right,  this SCOTUS could in its most extreme rulings ( and considered very unlikely), rule that fetuses are persons protected by the constitution and therefore abortion would be murder, or the court could abolish the right to privacy decided in a decision on the legality of contraceptives in l965, eliminating the legal foundation for the right to abortion as well as birth control and same sex marriage.

Most likely, according to the NY Times analysts, a court with a conservative majority would allow states to impose new restrictions on abortion, reinterpreting what “undue burden” is in terms of access to safe legal abortions, and “ interpret that standard narrowly,” allowing states to impose more and more barriers to access and much more leeway to restrict abortions.

Reproductive Rights would in all likelihood be under attack for the foreseeable future. Because of these harrowing possibilities, the UUWF has signed on to two letters calling for careful  scrutiny of; and pointed questions to Judge Kavanaugh in the course of Senate deliberations on his nomination to the SCOTUS- one focused on separation of church and government, and the other more specifically on threats to reproductive choice, including  access to abortion nationwide.

We have joined with 36 other national faith-based, nontheist, and religious liberty organizations to “share a commitment to individual freedom and the separation of religion and government.” In this letter to all U.S. Senators, we pointed to the dissent Judge Kavanaugh wrote in “ Priests for Life vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he sided with a religious organization which argued that filling out a form to request a religious exemption from providing insurance coverage for birth control, burdened its religious exercise, He was at odds with eight of the nine federal appeals courts that heard challenges on the same religious exemptions. In our letter, we expressed concerns that Judge Kavanaugh “could require the government to carve out religious exemptions even when they would cause real harm to other people.”

UUWF has signed a second interfaith letter, this one to the Senate Judiciary Committee, stating that “”we are deeply troubled by Judge Kavanaugh’s record of statements and decisions on issues related to reproductive health and the right to make private decisions without impediment or imposition.”

“We fear that Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, will not uphold the right of each pregnant woman to make the choice for her circumstances—including the choice to seek an abortion- by her own conscience in consultation with her doctor, faith and values…. Judge Kavanaugh’s views on the civil right to choose abortion and the sacred right to bodily autonomy gives us great pause over his confirmation to the highest court of our land.”

“In light of President Trump’s explicit promise to nominate Justices who will overturn Roe, and of Judge Kavanaugh’s past statements and rulings, we urge the Committee to carefully scrutinize Judge Kavanaugh’s entire record and demand clear, direct, and substantive answers. We further hope the Senate will reject any nominee who will not safeguard individual moral agency or the fundamental principles of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution.”

Rev. Marti Keller

 

July 2018 — UUWF joins a number of interfaith and secular human right organizations in declaring that the stakes of the Supreme Court vacancy following the resignation of Justice Anthony Kennedy are enormously high for the future of civil and human rights. Our highest court plays a critical role as a backstop when other institutions fail to provide basic protections.

All of our rights and freedoms are on the line. Whether access to healthcare, immigrant justice, LGBTQ rights, or criminal justice reform, the fate of all of these hang in the balance. The issue most immediately under threat is access to health care, especially for women.

Read the entire statement: Justice Kennedy Retirement

Justice Kennedy’s Retirement a Grave Threat to the Human Rights of Women

The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF) joins a number of interfaith and secular human right organizations in declaring that the stakes of the Supreme Court vacancy following the resignation of Justice Anthony Kennedy are enormously high for the future of civil and human rights. Our highest court plays a critical role as a backstop when...

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More than 2,400 Faith Leaders Call on Senators to Oppose Senate Tax Bill: UUWF Signs on

Rev. Marti Keller, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation: “Challenging and preventing extreme inequality is a moral imperative for Unitarian Universalists as we affirm justice, equity and compassion in human relations. We are committed to working to change economic systems that perpetuate and worsen income and wealth inequality with a goal of life, dignity and wellbeing...

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Paycheck Fairness Act

April 2017 -- The UUWF joined some 300 other organizations the first week in April, in asking our members of Congress to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bill (H.R. 1869) would provide effective protection against sex-based discrimination. The wage gap is much wider between white men and women of color than between white men...

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40 years after the Hyde Amendment: UUWF Joins Interfaith Campaign to End Abortion Coverage Ban

September 30, 2016 -- Forty years ago this week, the Hyde Amendment denying Medicaid funding for most abortions was passed as part of the federal appropriations process, and has been renewed annually ever since. While fifteen states have opted to use government health insurance funds for abortion, the majority have not. The real impact of...

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law
June 27, 2016 -- The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF) is very pleased with and heartened by the decision today by the nation’s highest court in the Whole Woman’s Health V. Hellerstedt case. “On this momentous day and epic victory for reproductive rights, we reaffirm our foundational commitments to the inherent worth and dignity of...

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UU Women Speak Out for Contraception and Freedom of Conscience

The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation joins Catholics for Choice and other faith based organizations in urging the Supreme Court to decide in favor of the hundreds of thousands of employees at religiously-affiliated nonprofit organizations who could be deprived of their conscience rights, religious freedom, and access to healthcare in the face of the most recent...

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Witness Opportunities Round-Up

The UUWF remains committed to adding our voice in the public square around issues of gender justice, guided by the periodic surveys we take of the priorities of UU women. Recently, we have taken the following actions: We signed on to an interfaith letter urging the president and the Senate to fulfill their constitutional duties...

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National Weekend of Prayer for Reproductive Justice

National Weekend of Prayer for Reproductive Justice
February 26-28, UUWF joined our partner organization The Religious Institute in sponsoring a National Weekend of Prayer for Reproductive Justice, the weekend preceding the oral arguments for the Whole Woman's Health v. Cole case before the US Supreme Court. The SCOTUS will be deciding the legality of a law passed in Texas which has nearly...

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UUWF Urges Action on SCOTUS Vacancy

The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation Signs on to Interfaith Letter to US Senators Urging Action on the Current Vacancy on the Supreme Court The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF), a national membership organization working to advance justice for women and girls, has joined with other religious groups, including the National Council of Churches and the...

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UUWF Issues Statement on the Colorado Shootings

November 30, 2015 -- "The Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation joins with our sister faith organization, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), in extending our hearts and prayers to everyone involved in the tragic shootings at Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains," said UUWF president Kirstie Lewis in a statement released today. The killing of three people...

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UUWF Signs on to Cole Amicus

UUWF Signs on to Cole Amicus
December 23, 2015 — The UUWF has signed on to the only faith-based amicus brief being submitted to the Supreme Court for its deliberations on Whole Woman’s Health V. Cole. http://www.reproductiverights.org/document/amicus-briefs-in-support-of-whole-womans-health

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Faithful Solidarity: Challenging the Culture of Fear and Judgment

(Action you can take anytime in December or January) The anger and violence directed towards Planned Parenthood and abortion providers, black lives, immigrants, refugees, and transgender people shares common roots: fear and judgment. This intolerance is not isolated or random, but rather the predictable consequence of stereotyping, shaming, and the willful dehumanization of individuals and...

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These Doors Stay Open

These Doors Stay Open
December 3, 2015 -- The Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation stands with Planned Parenthood on its "National Day of Solidarity: These Doors Stay Open" as we have over our more than 50 years of justice seeking work for women and girls. We mourn the killings and are saddened by the injuries sustained at the Colorado Springs...

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Ways for Faith Communities to Participate in Solidarity Events with Planned Parenthood and Other Allies

Ways for Faith Communities to Participate in Solidarity Events with Planned Parenthood and Other Allies
#1 Participate in the National Day of Solidarity on Saturday, December 5, 2015 One of the lessons of the tragedy in Colorado is that words matter, and hateful rhetoric fuels violence. We are calling for an end to the inflammatory rhetoric that has vilified and fueled attacks not only against Planned Parenthood and abortion providers,...

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Investigate Attacks on Clinics

Investigate Attacks on Clinics
November, 2015 -- The UUWF joined almost 30 other national women’s and religious organizations, and dozens of physicians, in signing a letter to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the recent attacks on reproductive health clinics as “acts of domestic terrorism.” Initiated by the National Abortion Rights Action...

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UUWF Stands Up for Planned Parenthood

UUWF Stands Up for Planned Parenthood
The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF) stands up in support of continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its key role in the reproductive health of women across the country. “Eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion care providers means millions could lose access to their trusted, high-quality care provider,”...

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People of Faith #StandwithPP

People of Faith #StandwithPP
September 20, 2015 -- One of our UUWF partner organizations, the Religious Institute, has launched a petition to Congress for people of faith and religious leaders to demonstrate that they stand with Planned Parenthood. The Religious Institute hopes you will read it, sign it, and join us in getting the word out there: http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/people-of-faith-stand-with-planned-parenthood-1

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Adolescent Sexual Health

September 14, 2015 -- The UUWF responded to and signed onto a letter to chairpersons and ranking members of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, urging them to restore or increase spending on key adolescent sexual health programs. We joined dozens of state and national teen pregnancy and AIDS prevention and treatment organizations in...

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Planned Parenthood Under Congressional Attack

Planned Parenthood Under Congressional Attack
July 30, 2015 -- Along with more than 50 other organizations, UUWF signed onto a letter to Congress standing with Planned Parenthood and its health centers, whose federal funding is once again being threatened by attempts to attach this action to unrelated bills. The latest efforts to cut off crucial support for their reproductive health...

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Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act

Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act
July 2015 - UUWF signed on as a co-sponsor of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, along with dozens of other national groups, including the Central Conference for American Rabbis, the Methodist Federation for Social Action, the United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, in which we serve...

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Oppose Global Gag Rule

Oppose Global Gag Rule
July 3, 2015 -- The UUWF joined many of our partners in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), including the General Board of Church & Society of the United Methodist Church, in signing an open statement opposing the so-called global gag rule. In the face of growing efforts in Congress to reinstate this punitive...

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ACA Contraceptive Coverage

May 2015 -- The UUWF joined 40 other organizations, including faith-based groups and health organizations, in writing to three cabinet members and urging them to ensure that insurance companies comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage requirement. The letter was addressed to the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury.  While...

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Opposing 20-week Ban

Opposing 20-week Ban
May 2015 --  Under the leadership of Catholics for Choice and along with many other faith-based and religious groups, the UUWF signed on to letters to members of Congress (first the House and then the Senate) opposing a federal bill that would ban all termination procedures after 20 weeks, with the exception of maternal endangerment...

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Aid Runaway and Homeless Youth

Aid Runaway and Homeless Youth
March 11, 2015 -- Along with other faith organizations that are members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, UUWF signed on to a letter to our US Senators asking them to oppose an amendment to a piece of legislation intended to aid runaway and homeless youth who become victims of sex trafficking. If passed...

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Provide Referrals

Provide Referrals
March 4, 2015 -- In response to a request from the Center for Reproductive Rights, UUWF added our voices to a list of 55 groups that wrote President Obama. Collectively, we objected to proposals being considered that would allow groups working with women abroad to opt out of even providing referrals for women needing life-saving...

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Healthy Families Act

Healthy Families Act
February 28, 2015 -- UUWF joined with the National Partnership for Women & Families in support of the Healthy Families Act, which calls for paid sick days, and covers more workers than ever, adding protections for parents of children with special educational needs.

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2014 Actions

2014 Actions
#StandWithPeggy Jessica Halperin, the UUA's Witness Ministries Program Associate, sent us this from the rally in front of the Supreme Court on December 2. The UUA co-sponsored the rally to "#StandWithPeggy and all pregnant workers — because no one should have to choose between [their] job and the health of [their] pregnancy." Kate Frederick's speech...

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Religious Liberty and the Human Reproductive Rights of Women

Religious Liberty and the Human Reproductive Rights of Women
The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, a founding member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) joins with our sister faith based organizations in expressing disappointment and concern for the human reproductive rights of women that the U Supreme Court avoided issuing a ruling in Zubik v. Burwell, a case brought by religiously affiliated non-profit...

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2013 Actions

November 2013 - The Women's Health Protection Act would remove many laws restricting women's access to abortion: UUWF joins others in expressing disappointment that the act excludes parental notification and consent laws that exist in 39 states October 2013 - UUWF supports another amicus brief opposing failure to include contraception in health insurance plans Observing...

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North Dakota and Other Recent Anti-choice Legislation

Rev. Marti Keller In the last few weeks, the attention of many Unitarian Universalists and other progressive religious allies has been on the US Supreme Court, and the arguments heard there about the legality of same sex marriage.  Many of us changed our Facebook photos and took other measures to express our support of the...

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2012 Actions

UUWF signed onto ACLU et al v O'Brien, an amicus brief supporting a case in the 8th District Court opposing the exclusion of contraception from health insurance. You can also read UUWF's Statement of Interest. Co-signed a letter supporting the Shaheen Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which would add coverage of abortion to...

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Leaping From Our Spheres

Rev. Marti KellerDon’t miss the “little gems full of both passion and facts” in the Blog of UUWF’s Affiliated Minister, Rev. Marti Keller.

UUWF’s Affiliated Ministry