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Right to Choose

General Resolution

BECAUSE, Unitarian Universalists believe that the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the right of individual conscience, and respect for human life are inalienable rights due every person; and that the personal right to choose in regard to contraception and abortion is an important aspect of these rights; and

BECAUSE, we believe in tolerance and compassion for persons whose choices may differ from our own; and

BECAUSE, we believe not only in the value of life itself but also in the quality of life; and

WHEREAS, pain, suffering, and loss of life were widespread prior to the legalization of abortion in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade ) and the 1969 amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada;

WHEREAS, the issue of abortion is morally complex, abortion must remain a legal option; and

WHEREAS, attempts are now being made to restrict access to birth control and abortion by overriding individual decisions of conscience, and attacks in legislatures, courts, and the streets often result in depriving poor women of their right to medical care; and such legislation is an infringement of the principle of separation of church and state in that it tries to enact private morality into public law; and

WHEREAS, there is a movement to re-criminalize abortion both for women and their health-care providers which could bring back dangerous alternatives to clinically safe abortions;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1987 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association reaffirms its historic position, supporting the right to choose contraception and abortion as legitimate aspects of the right to privacy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that:

  1. Individual Unitarian Universalists educate themselves, their congregations, and the public about the new moral understandings emergent in the works of feminist theologians and social ethicists; and
  2. Unitarian Universalists oppose any move to deny or restrict the distribution of government funds as a means of restricting access to full contraceptive and abortion counseling and/or services, at home or abroad; and
  3. Unitarian Universalists actively oppose all legislation, regulation and administrative action, at any level of government, intended to undermine or circumvent the Roe v. Wade decision; and
  4. Unitarian Universalists communicate their opposition to such attempts to their legislative representatives and to the electorate; and
  5. Unitarian Universalists expose and oppose bogus clinics and other tactics that infringe on the free exercise of the right to choose; and
  6. Unitarian Universalists promote legislation funding safe abortions for low-income women; and
  7. Individual Unitarian Universalists, congregations, and the Unitarian Universalist Association open discussion with those of different mind, and seek opportunities to work productively from shared values to promote family planning and education for responsible sex; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED: That we reaffirm the right to choose contraception and abortion as a legitimate expression of our constitutional rights.

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Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

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