Clergy play an important role in helping women access reproductive care and information. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice works to make voices of faith heard by the media, elected officials, and the community. We asked Rev. Katherine Schofield, Minister for Campus Engagement at United University Church, to tell us why she got involved.
"In my role as the Minister for Campus Engagement at United University Church at USC, I often encounter young adults who struggle with reproductive health issues. The guiding principle I always lean on is the blessedness of all human beings, regardless of background or present circumstance. This is the central teaching of my Christian tradition – as it is for many other faith traditions. It is also the reason I am pro-choice and a new board member of the California Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). Unfortunately, those who struggle with questions of contraception and reproductive choice are often dehumanized and shamed.
Consider the recent billboard campaign, targeted at Latinas and African-American women, that claimed, "The Most Dangerous Place for a Latino [or an African-American] is in the Womb." These campaigns only stigmatize women. What makes it worse is that these campaigns have had support of some in the faith community. Thus God appears to become a God of anger and punishment, rather than love and forgiveness. Faith communities appear to be places of judgment, rather than self reflection, support and healing. California RCRC offers a counter narrative to the idea that the faith community is always against reproductive choice. We respect the dignity of every person and empower individuals with the information and support they need to take responsibility for their own reproductive health."
To learn more about California RCRC please visit http://californiarcrc.org.
September 15, 2011