Many congregations speak proudly and publicly for the critical justice movements of our time: racial justice, LGBTQ+ justice, immigration justice. We declare at our congregation’s doors that Black Lives Matter. That our congregations are welcoming. And that hate has no home here.
And the fight for reproductive justice includes all of these important issues, where faith voices are boldly front and center. It is deeply faithful for congregations to speak out in support of reproductive dignity, including abortion.
The Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity (SACReD) calls on faithful people across the country to join us. It’s time to become a SACReD Congregation.
Grounded in the justice principles that are at the heart of our religious traditions, we are committed to equity, dignity, and holistic well-being for all people. We recognize that reproductive issues are integral to social justice and cannot be exiled from our sphere of moral concern if we are to fully live out our commitment to human flourishing. Similarly, as reproductive concerns are inherently tied to intersecting systems of oppression, particularly those of patriarchy, racism, and poverty, we know we cannot isolate a narrow reproductive interest from a broader justice agenda. We acknowledge that as religious communities we have a particular responsibility to promote healing, bring new understanding, and make changes as religion has contributed to trauma, faith alienation, and afflictions of mental health related to reproduction.
We, therefore, affirm the following guiding principles:
- All creation is good and includes a beautiful diversity of sacred bodies, sexualities, and reproductive journeys.
- The dignity of sacred bodies and the moral agency of all people deserve respect, including the bodily autonomy and agency of women, queer people, gender diverse people, people with disabilities, immigrants, indigenous populations, and people of color who have often been denied this respect.
- Reproduction is a sacred responsibility, and prayerful decisions to have children, to not have children, or to end a pregnancy can be equally moral.
And therefore this community commits to:
- Creating loving, justice-seeking faith communities where shame, judgment, or stigma for diverse reproductive decisions and journeys have no place
- Supporting the work of parenting and the healthy growth of children in safe, sustainable, nurturing communities.
- Advocating for equitable access to the full spectrum of comprehensive reproductive healthcare as a moral and social good, and supporting fulfillment of reproductive moral agency and flourishing for all.
Process for Becoming Designated
- Dialogue: Begin with informal discussion of reproductive justice principles & racial justice alongside congregational values
- What is the congregation’s starting point with its justice-resonant values?
- Where are the existing understandings of reproductive issues and intersectional justice?
- Education: Equip congregation for compassionate care and justice for sacred bodies throughout congregational and community life
- Core SACReD curriculum is a requirement
- Other educational supplements are engaged as needed to enhance core curriculum and/or equip particular areas of ministry, before and/or after designation
- Theology: Articulate beliefs/principles/values and moral commitments within the congregation’s faith tradition that are compatible with those of liberation ethics and reproductive justice
- Become Designated: Officially vote as a congregation
- Concrete Action: Live out what congregation has been equipped to do
- Pastoral and community care
- Political and community action work with local organizations
- Worship integration of resonant theology
- Accountability Loop: Engage with SACReD program team for mutual evaluation and growth
- Re-Designate: Every 3 years