North Dakota and Other Recent Anti-choice Legislation
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 dignity and worth, and rights to privacy, of Lesbians and Gays to choose their life partners and to have the same access to legal marriage as heterosexual couples. GLBTQ rights and justice issues have been high priorities for UUs and for the women who belong to the UU Women’s Federation (UUWF) for many years.
During this same time period, laws were passed in Arkansas (approved March 6) and in North Dakota (March 26) imposing the nation’s toughest bans on abortion: 12 weeks in Arkansas and six weeks in North Dakota. These new laws are being described as an unprecedented frontal assault on the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v Wade decision that established a nationwide right to abortion. The next threat to choice is in Alabama, where the state legislature is poised to pass a bill that would shut down all abortion services in the state and force five family planning clinics to close their doors.
Over our history, UUWF has unflaggingly supported an individual woman’s right of decision-making about her pregnancy, with a commitment, again, to the right of conscience and the right to privacy in this decision. Our support for GLBTQ rights and reproductive justice remain strong, as does, unfortunately, the opposition of the Religious Right, which sees these two social issues as a threat to the moral fabric of this society, while we see their attacks as seeking to impose their beliefs as law.
We will remain steadfast and vigilant in our work on both fronts.
Rev. Marti Keller
April 20, 2013