In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which denies abortion as a constitutional right, the United Church of Christ has taken a firm stand. The denomination denounces this ruling and calls upon its churches to actively support “people seeking and receiving abortions.”
During the 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ held recently, a resolution was passed, compelling all congregations to provide assistance to pregnant individuals seeking abortions. The resolution garnered significant support, with 611 delegates voting in favor, while 24 opposed it, and 13 abstained from voting. The UCC is committed to offering its support and resources to those in need during these challenging times.
The denomination issued a statement titled “Denouncing the Dobbs Decision and Proclaiming Abortion as Healthcare,” asserting that a significant majority of Americans support legal abortion in all or most cases. They further argued that anti-abortion laws do not effectively reduce abortion rates but, instead, result in more dangerous situations by limiting access to safe, affordable, and medically-necessary abortions.
Highlighting the potential consequences, the statement emphasized that restricting abortion access can pose a threat to the lives of pregnant individuals, especially during times of grief. The denomination stands firmly in support of recognizing abortion as an essential aspect of healthcare, ensuring the protection and well-being of those seeking reproductive choices.
The denomination’s resolution unequivocally affirms that imposing forced birth upon individuals constitutes an act of sexual violence. It strongly advocates that the decision to have and care for children is deeply sacred and must never be forced upon anyone.
Furthermore, the resolution calls for peaceful resistance, including civil disobedience, in the face of any laws that seek to ban abortions. It urges all entities within the United Church of Christ to employ Just Peace practices to confront abortion bans and restrictions on reproductive healthcare.
In line with this stance, Local Churches, Associations, and Conferences are encouraged to stand in solidarity with those seeking and receiving abortions and other reproductive healthcare. They are urged to offer physical, financial, and spiritual support in collaboration with local healthcare agencies and abortion funds.
Reflecting on the significance of the resolution, Rev. Dakota Roberts, the Associate Pastor at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Carmel, expressed that just as sanctuary churches provide a safe haven for refugees and immigrants, the United Church of Christ now encourages churches to extend love, support, and a sanctuary for individuals seeking access to safe abortions. The denomination stands firmly in its commitment to uphold reproductive rights and provide compassionate care for those in need.