While attacks on our freedom over our bodies continue, the faith communities we partner with through Just Texas embrace abortion access and reproductive health stories while dismantling shame, fear, and judgment in faith spaces.
The fall of Roe is leaving a chilling effect on abortion and reproductive healthcare access in Texas, where a trigger ban outlaws abortion.
Anti-abortion extremists already created an “abortion bounty law” in 2021 that criminalized healthcare. Now, the same cruel actors behind the bounty law have schemed up a draconian travel ordinance in Cochran County that makes it illegal to travel on the area’s roads when going to New Mexico to seek an abortion.
While unenforceable, these policies stoke fear. They attempt to steal our humanity.
“The harmful use of faith as a tool for furthering reproductive stigma and shame has made it so we can’t bring our whole selves, with all of our stories and histories, to our sacred spaces — spaces where we are meant to be seen, heard, and understood, where we can be loved and celebrated for exactly who we are and what we have experienced.”
Shan Schaffer, Just Texas Faith Organizer
Last month, Shan Schaffer, our Just Texas Faith Organizer, spoke to a congregation about the vital mission to regain our abortion rights and erase the stigma around reproductive health in faith and non-faith communities.
Read on to see more excerpts from Shan’s sermon on embracing abortion stories in faith spaces:
“We all have a faith story, but we also all have a reproductive health story, even if we have never viewed it that way. All of these stories are unique, and we all deserve a space where we can bring these stories and our histories without shame, fear, or judgment.”
“Helping fellow Texans access abortion and bodily autonomy is an act of love and community support. We need to act as a beacon to let people know they are loved for all they are and have experienced. This fight doesn’t happen only when our politicians decide it does; it is up to us to keep this going.”
“All people deserve the freedom to make the best decisions that lead to a flourishing life for themselves, their families, and their futures. Compassion and love are values that extend to supporting and uplifting those who need access to abortion. Access to abortion allows all of us to live healthy, dignified, and abundant lives.”
“It is so crucial we let people know that faith and reproductive health, including abortion, are not in conflict. They can exist within a space of care, love, and respect for one another. We must be brave in this fight for access because that braveness allows us to be seen, heard, respected, and ultimately, saves and changes our lives and those we love for the better.”
“We’re at a time where bodily autonomy is being stripped away from those most vulnerable. We need to make our voices heard. People deserve to feel welcome here, and they deserve to know that their choices and decisions are okay.”