Minute on Reproductive Health

Oxford Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends affirms our unity with Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice, which states that: 

The Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends holds as the basis of its faith the belief that divine truth and the gift of God’s presence are available to all people in all ages. The indwelling presence of God implies the equal worth of all members of the human family and the capacity in all to discern spiritual truth and to hold direct communion with the Divine Spirit… What binds us together as a spiritual community is not uniformity of belief, but rather our sense of a common journey on a shared path, seeking the guidance of the Light. Our diversity strengthens us as we walk this path of love, compassion, and justice. 

We recognize that diversity exists among Friends on the issue of legal limits or bans on abortion.  In order to preserve the freedom of individual conscience and the responsibility to discern our choices with the guidance of the Inner Light, we stand with those who hold that bodily autonomy and reproductive choice is a human right. Although we hold with respect and compassion those who oppose abortion, we believe that it is unjust to impose their beliefs upon others, and we uphold the separation of church and state.  We are especially aware of the unequal impact of abortion limits and bans upon those who are racially marginalized and economically disadvantaged, and believe that this inequality is incongruent with our vision of a society free of discrimination.  

Now that the right to provide and receive reproductive health care is under widespread attack, it is more important than ever our nation take steps to protect equal access to health care and well-being for all pregnant people and families and to ensure that health care providers have the freedom to treat patients as medically appropriate.

These beliefs lead us to consider actions including the following:

  •  Advocate with Friends Committee on National Legislation to: ensure access to quality, affordable childcare; close the Medicaid coverage gap; provide access to prenatal and postpartum health care; ensure paid family and medical leave; protect people who are pregnant in the workplace; and guarantee more assistance to families. 
  •  Ally with faith group(s) that support reproductive health care as a human right
  •  Encourage individuals to act as led in supporting organizations and individuals that support reproductive choice.