by Rev. Dr. Diane Weible
The Roe vs. Wade decision may have been handed down after I was born but I was young. For all of my awareness of life, women had the freedom to make decisions for their own bodies and their own lives. At least, until now.
I grieve what this decision means to half the population of this country who is now told that other people can tell them what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Strangers can say that no matter what the circumstance of your pregnancy, it is your responsibility to carry a fetus to term. It is privilege when someone can flippantly say, “give the child up for adoption.” Or, “if you work harder you will have all the resources you need.”
There is a misconception that “Pro Choice” means a person is not “Pro Life”. I am Pro Choice AND I am Pro Life.
I am Pro Life for:
- Offering support to mothers who are struggling to make ends meet; to make sure they have the basic rights for them and their children.
- Demanding consequences and/or immediately enforceable responsibilities for the individual who helped to create the fetus regardless of a woman’s ability to hire an attorney to make that happen.
- Gun regulation laws that ensure that when a child is born, they will be protected when they go to school.
- Reparations for People of Color whose ancestors built this country without receiving any compensation for it and now live with the generational trauma that makes basic rights for living a challenge to obtain.
We have wandered so far afield of the importance of protecting ALL life that we pick and choose which lives require our support and which lives do not.
Something has to change. Sometimes I feel helpless to know what that is. I am lucky that I have colleagues in so many in the United Church of Christ who will pick me up when I feel helpless. I hope and pray I do the same for them. Supporting one another in this work is the only way we will survive.
One of my colleagues, who serves in a state bordering one of the states that immediately enacted strict abortion laws, called her chapter of Planned Parenthood and asked how she could help. She is now working with a clinic helping women who have had their rights stripped from them be able to make really hard choices, not matter what that choice is.
I know of others who are working tirelessly to find ways to make sure that “back-alley” abortions, once considered a rare occurrence thanks to Roe v. Wade, do not now endanger the lives of countless women who find themselves with no other choice.
What do we do with the rage and the energy that we are all feeling in the wake of a political decision by the Supreme Court that goes against everything this country is supposed to stand for?
I close with a post from Valarie Kaur that may help answer that question; that offers beautiful insight into one way we can move forward. “Think of it as a dance: process raw rage in safe containers, harness that energy for divine rage in the world. When we learn how to dance with our rage, we create space for listening and reimagining.”
There is work to be done. Let us support one another in our rage. Let us find new ways to dance and imagine.