Disparate Impact . . . Again
Alicia Reese
May 3, 2022

On January 22, 1973, a landmark Supreme Court decision was made. It ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion.

Today is May 2, 2022, it is nearly 50 year later, and we are on the precipice of not watching history be made, but rather watching it be unmade.

The pouring ran I awoke to and the completely overcast, grey sky outside my window, reflect the deary, heaviness I am feeling as a result of knowing it is only a matter of time until Roe v. Wade is officially overturned. I am a muddled mix of anger, sadness, frustration, and hopelessness.  

The implications and consequences of this decision will be huge, but, unfortunately, they will be unseen and unfelt by many, many who are a lot like me: educated, employed, middle to upper-class, and white.

We just emerged from Lent and our “Fast from Whiteness,” and I am reminded of why we chose such a theme, because we believe in justice and equity for all people. And the reality here in the U.S is that whiteness—white culture, ideals, values—is centralized and normalized. Having white skin inherently gives one disproportionately more power and privileges in our society, which means we are living in a racially unjust and inequitable society.

When I consider the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, I see an attempt to control, I see an attempt to keep those in poverty from getting out of it, I see injustice, I see racial injustice. Because overturning Roe v. Wade will impact all women and their right to choose what to do with their own bodies, but it will disproportionately impact women of color.

Liturgies & Prayer:
God is not a judge who sits at a distance
shaking “His” finger at us
about divine rules and regulations.

God is within.
Like a whisper.
Like a question.
Like a knowing and a rising.

God lures us towards each other.
Towards collective flourishing.
Towards power growing from the margins.
Towards our roots deep in the earth.

God pulls us in every direction that serves love and life.

Sometimes that direction is abortion.

When a woman,
Or a trans man,
Or a nonbinary person with a uterus,
becomes pregnant
and must decide how best to foster life:
Their own,
and that of their family,
and that of this earth breaking under our burdens,
God knows, for many, there are such few “choices”
available in this
(cis) sexist system.

The God of the fringes,
the impoverished,
the oppressed,
condemns every form of coercion
and every act of control
over the bodies of those
who ask all the right questions
of life and autonomy and futures and collective well-being
under all the wrong systems
that abandon and judge and isolate and weigh down.

Let us not grow weary in claiming our power,
in professing and practicing our solidarity,
in sharing our resources,
and in following the One
who from the margins cries:
Come and follow.
  - By Rev. M Barclay

Abortion as a Blessing by Rev. Julia Hamilton
Abortion is not just a deeply personal choice and a fundamental right, but it can also be a blessing: It is a life-saving medical procedure; it is a choice that can help heal from violence; it is a doorway to a different life; it is a blessing to so many people who, for whatever reason, are not in a position to have a child.
  • Blessed are those doctors and nurses and clinicians who provide abortion care, often at great personal risk;
  • Blessed are those who have stood at the doors of clinics and escorted patients with love and compassion in the face of hate and shame;
  • Blessed are the friends, partners, and family members who have supported loved ones through the process;
  • Blessed are the elected officials, activists, and organizers who fight to keep abortion safe and available to all who need it.
  • Blessed are you, if you have had an abortion. You are loved and supported in your choice, and in the life that you live today because of that choice.

God of all, give us strength, and courage, and wisdom to put aside anything that might prevent us from being advocates for justice and equity. Amen.