“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~John 14:27 KJV
These words came to me as comfort on May 2 as I processed the news that we all saw, of the leaked SCOTUS decision. Though it is a reality we’ve been preparing for in the Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice advocacy movements, it was still quite a piercing to the heart to have your fears seemingly confirmed. But after a couple of hours, these words that Jesus spoke to his disciples in a moment when they were consumed by fear came to me. You see, Jesus in that moment was himself confirming rumors they had heard and fears they held, but he was also encouraging them that though they were entering a scary time, they’d make it through.
“Don’t be afraid…” Not because it’s not a scary moment, indeed it is. These words are not a request to deny the reality of the situation but rather an invitation to acknowledge the fear and to let it move you into compassionate, thoughtful, faithful action, knowing you are on the side of the love which casts out fear.
As a faith leader who wholly believes in reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, I believe that God is with pregnant people while they are making their reproductive decisions, regardless of what reproductive decisions they make. This moment calls me to put my faith into action and do whatever I can to ensure that pregnant people have access to ALL the vital healthcare that they need, which includes abortions. And it is also the moment for all progressive faithful people to set aside their very valid fears and assert that they will no longer let faith be used as a tool to oppress pregnant people’s human rights.
If you are a faithful person who believes in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice and want to transform your fear in this moment into compassionate, faithful, action, here are some ways you can help:
- Donate to your local/regional abortion fund
- Advocate for your local government to provide information, funding and other support to folks seeking abortion care and for your state government to pass laws protecting the right to abortion care.
- Donate to a Black and POC run Reproductive Justice organization as BIPOC people will be disproportionately affected by restrictive laws
- Dare to start brave conversations in your faith communities. For help with ways to do that sign up for future communication at sacreddignity.org
- Sign our justice statement for progressive people of faith and add your name to faithful people from around the country who assert that their faith compels them to advocate for justice and mercy.
Beloveds, these are indeed incredibly fearful times, but don’t be afraid, be active. Amen and Ashé.
Rev. Kenyetta Chinwe is the Faith Advocacy Coordinator for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.