Faith Perspectives

Over half of religious individuals in the US support protecting reproductive healthcare, including abortion. We gathered teachings from various religious leaders so that you can learn more about the moral argument for defending reproductive freedom.

A line of women prays with their hands raised
0 %

Use Contraception

People of every religion report using birth control in their reproductive years.

0 %

of Muslim Americans

Support protecting access to abortion care.

0 %

Of Jewish Americans

Support protecting access to abortion care.

0 %

Of Catholic Americans

Support protecting access to abortion care.

The moral case for reproductive freedom

Buddhist

Abortion may sometimes be the best decision and a truly moral choice. It means that Buddhists may understand that reproductive decisions are part of the moral complexity of life...

Catholic

A variety of resources that reveal what Catholic teachings are, what Catholics believe and how Catholics behave...

Hindu

The ultimate goal of Hinduism is liberation. Liberation is achieved by the repeated exercise of conscious choice and the cultivation of memory regarding those choices...

Jewish

A vast majority of Jewish thinkers agree that decision-making with respect to abortion must be left in the hands of the woman involved, who may consult her husband, her physician, and her rabbi...

Muslim

We have the duty to take every step to ensure that life is not only sacred but respected, and this means ensuring that as long as we have control, every birth should be one that truly brings joy and satisfaction...

Protestant

Views on abortion vary widely among the 30,000+ Protestant Christian denominations. We have collected some resources for you, here.

Unitarian Universalist

UU embraces the reproductive justice framework, which espouses the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments and to safeguard bodily autonomy and to express one’s sexuality freely...

Blessings & Prayers

by Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton

 

Dear God,

This new day has dawned with this country more divided than it has been since the days of the Civil War. Half of your people are rejoicing while the other half are stunned and sore afraid.

What divided us then continues to tear at the seams of the fabric of this nation.

We are a United Divided States.

Help us to remember that the experiment called democracy is not over; it is still being tested. After 240 years of existence, the final results are not yet in. We still have work to do. It stretches out before us, across wheat fields and deserts, from the mountains to the prairies, from sea to shining sea.

In the midst of our sense of victory, help us to remember your call to us to love one another as you love us.

In the midst of our sense of defeat, help us to remember that you still reign; you alone are worshiped; you alone are God.

Help us to put aside our own feelings – jumbled and confused as they may be at the moment – in service of others, our families and friends and neighbors – here and around the world.

Help us remember your high calling to us to be agents of forgiveness and reconciliation, love and peace, healing and hope in a world made dark by fear and hatred and brokenness.

Help us to rebuild this nation by seeking out your image in the face of others, finding the best in us to serve those who are the least, the lost and the lonely.

Help us to remember the words of one of your servants of old who reminded us that ‘perfect love casts out fear’. Help us perfect our love.

We are your people. You know us by many names. You are our God. We know you by many names.

May we find strength in our diversity and seek the courage to live into what is written on every piece of currency in this nation: In God we Trust. In God. We Trust.

For only in you can we live in safety. Only in you will we find justice. Only in you will we know the peace that passes all human understanding.

Amen.

by Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton

 

Holy, gracious and loving G_d

You are wise beyond our knowing

You have gifted us with

intelligence, memory, reason, and skill.

You fill our lives with

experiences in which we

may freely use these gifts.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Before we were born, you knew us.

You know our deepest thoughts,

our fiercest passions,

our desperate longings,

our ancient hurts,

our wildest dreams and

our strongest fears.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

When we were being shaped and formed

in the secrets of our mothers’ womb

You also knit together in us strong threads of

liberation and justice,

will and grace,

and set us free to live our lives

as human beings fully alive.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We are complex beings,

living complicated lives.

Give us the courage to

discern what is right

and what is good,

knowing that the two

may not always be the same.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Help us – and help us help others –

to respect all of life

especially the lives of women

who have been denied justice

their intelligence questioned

their choices limited

their freedom denied.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Inspire our minds

fire our spirits, and

strengthen our wills

that justice and compassion

may always be our

companions on this journey

and we may know your peace.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We pray for women who know that life is beginning within them, who face the agony of wondering what to do when they do not know if they can cope.

Some of them are women we know already. Some are women we have yet to meet. Some are in our own places of worship. Some are in our families, workplace, neighborhoods, and other places of worship.

The reasons for their dilemmas are as varied as the women themselves. None of us can actually walk in their shoes, nor can we know all the background and circumstances involved. Each will struggle with how best to decide what to do when no remaining choice will be a good one.

Help them, Gracious God, to find wise counsel, if they choose to seek it; understanding friends if they choose to tell their story; caring clergy if they want to explore the morality of their choices.

But most of all, give them strength to meet what they must face.

Amen.

Adapted from a prayer by Reverend Elenora Giddings Ivory

 

God of our lives, help us to find ways to break the silence that perpetuates the cycles of sexual abuse and violence in our families and in our communities and religious institutions. Help us break that silence when we see the evidence of the abuse of the beautiful gift of sexuality you have given us. Help us break that silence when we see this abuse throughout the world – forced sterilizations and forced abortions.

Give us the courage to speak out and break the silence that surrounds the abuse of your gift of sexuality in the name of culture – genital mutilation, rape and incest.

Help us find the voice of our outrage and denounce the violence against women and girls in the name of war and ethnic cleansing.

God, we know that you do not want us to misuse this beautiful gift of sexuality you have given us. Let us be loving and faithful to one another. We know that you would have us speak the truth to ourselves and to one another. Let us speak that truth lovingly and faithfully so that the secrets will no longer have power over generation after generation.

But most of all, God, let us be loving and faithful and supportive of the children we bring into this world.

Amen.

Adapted from a prayer by Reverend Ignacio Castuera

 

Gracious God, you who guided Naomi and her family to look for bread in Moab, a foreign land, protect the women everywhere who have to leave behind their home or homelands so that they and their families can survive.

May those who are escaping the ravages of war find shelter and sustenance. May the land in which they seek refuge welcome them and treat them with hospitality.

May those who are seeking to stop the threats of violence against them find a peaceful and healing place. Help them hold on to their hope for a new beginning. And may those who are fleeing from the famines that starve them and their children find relief from their painful and debilitating hunger. May they find food both for their journey and for their bodies.

You who guided Ruth to go to the Promised Land, grant that, like her, women may be lifted from the fields where they harvest to be part of royal lineage. And grant that we who are the spiritual descendants of those of old who were told that the holiest of trinities was made of the widow, the orphan and the migrant, be given the courage to see your face, your real presence, in the faces of women who have great need.

Amen.

By Reverend Linda Morgan Clark

 

God of all, we believe that your sufficiency is for everyone. We know also that you require that we feed the hungry and clothe the naked from the bounty you have provided to us all.

But we also acknowledge that there are so many — especially women –who, in these times of an overabundance of low wage jobs, struggle to keep food on their tables and roofs over their heads. And we especially remember women caught in the tattered and torn remnants of the social safety nets that have aided them in the past to feed and house themselves and their families.

We lift up for your special care those women and their children who wander among us hungry and homeless. May their sojourn lead them to caring people who will nurture them into dignity and link them with others who will share their resources with them.

Gracious God, keep nudging us toward these, the least among us. Open our hearts to hear their cries for relief and grant that we may be more faithful members of your household.

Amen.

Gracious Provider of Care and Protection, we remember and stand with health care professionals who furnish health care for women. We give thanks for their commitment to protect the privacy of their patients and to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve.

We give thanks especially for the doctors and nurses and other health care workers who serve the reproductive health care needs of women. Who train women to use contraception safely and responsibly, who educate teenagers about intercourse and its consequences, who counsel women at risk to conceive children with genetic and hereditary problems, who explore options with women who have problem pregnancies, who refer women to responsible adoption agencies, who support women through abortion services, who recognize the rights of women to make reproductive choices.

We pray for an end to the rhetoric and violent acts that target health care providers, and pray for the day when health care providers, women and their families, can exercise their rights to reproductive choice in security and peace. Let us pause now for a moment of silence to remember all who have lost their lives, and for those who have been injured in attacks all across our country.

(Silence)

Help us, Gracious God, to stand together with these courageous and caring people who continue to do your holy work.

Amen.

Rev. Chris Tessone, Independent Catholic Movement

 

Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who makes heaven and earth.

Let us pray:

Loving God,

We come to you with heavy hearts, a generation and a culture torn apart;

But in our confusion, we know what it is to love, and that we must love those who disagree with us, who muddy the water.

God of Creation,

Give us the clarity of mind to discern Your will, not in simple rules that ignore complexity, but in loving kindness that seeks to uplift and affirm all your children.

Eternal and Loving God,

Hear our prayers and bless your child, _________, who prepares to undergo an abortion. Guide the hands of her doctors, nurses, and other caregivers, that they may act with wisdom and love.

Restore her quickly to wholeness of body and mind, and be always the protector of her life and the safeguard of her care.

Through Jesus the Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

Amen.

by Imam Dr. Khaleel Mohammed

 

The Qur’an says: God does not tax a being beyond its capability. (2:286) And remember, too, that God says, “And when my servants ask you about me, I am close…I answer the please of the asker if he asks me.” (Q2:186). Take heart then, and know that God understands what you do and why you do it. There is nothing that you may not ask your God about. You are a woman and you are born free.

Remember that all perceive through the lenses of human fallibility. What is the first verse of the Qur’an? In the name of God, the Beneficent, and Merciful. It is not about judgment or forgiveness, even…but that beneficence and mercy and love that are part of God’s essence. And for whom is the beneficence, this mercy, if not for you?

Amen.

by Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Reform Judaism

 

May the merciful and gracious God grant you strength in this difficult time of decision;

May you find comfort and peace underneath the shelter of God’s wings;

May you find love, support and understanding from family, friends and community; May God endow your care-givers with wisdom, respect and compassion;

And may you return swiftly to a refuah shleimah – a full healing in mind, body and spirit!

Amen.

By Rev. Barbara Eaton Molfese, Clinic Chaplain

 

May you find your own deep truth.

Promise yourself, whether or not others understand, you will always be true and faithful to your own deepest self.

May you honor the generations upon generations of women who have walked this way before you, who have shared your feelings and fears…and kept walking, through whatever lay ahead of them. Those who are blessed with intelligence, sensitivity and depth, struggle most in life’s lonely places.

Having received compassion and understanding from those who have cared for you, may they now become gifts in your hands, waiting for someone else who needs them.

May the Sacred surround you, always.

Amen.

by Rev. Dr. Marvin Marsh, Baptist Church

 

O God, you who are closer and more loving to me than I am to myself: I pray for your blessing as I join this sisterhood of difficult choices. As I sort out my feelings, lead me in the path of healing and resurrection.

I believe this abortion is my best decision for this time, but I feel the pressures of those who disagree or have their own conflicts. Therefore, I cling to the promise that there is nothing that can separate me from your love in Christ Jesus. Grant me strength as I do the best that I can.

I pray this in the name and spirit of Jesus who came not to judge but to love and to redeem. In his name I pray for healing and inspiration. May your spirit transform me through this experience that I may have new gifts to use for the well-being of both myself and those within my care.

Amen.

by Rev. Deb Mero, Unitarian Universalist Minister

 

Dear Sister,

May I call you that? We don’t know one another, but I have walked in your shoes, had some of the same dreams and nightmares.

I made a decision, I knew it was right for me. I knew it would be something that would be part of my life story, part of what molded who I was.

Little did I know it would change my life. It got better, far better, than I could have imagined.

Please be kind to yourself and to those around you. Know that after the loss comes a new day and new opportunities to grow and love again.

May Peace be with you.

 Amen.

by Judy Harrow

 

Ancient Mother, please

Stand with me here and now.

I call upon your courage, your hard-won wisdom,

You who have faced hard choices and survived,

You who have stood with others many times where paths diverged.

 

Now is my hour of need.

To live is to choose; To choose is to risk;

Each door I open closes other doors;

Every Yes costs many Nos.

Stay with me, Ancient Mother,

Walk with me into the unknown future I have chosen.

 

So be it!

By Jackie Heil of Kansas, a foster mother who has cared for more than 100 babies waiting to be adopted

 

God of the Universe:
We pray for birth mothers. We ask for informed maturity, compassionate ears and shoulders, and tough love to help them make good choices for themselves and their children. Comfort those who grieve and give them faith and confidence in the future.

We pray for foster mothers. We give thanks for the willing hands and hearts of those who choose to care for babies and children in foster care. Give them patience and understanding and wisdom for the role they have chosen as temporary and long-term caretakers of little people.

We pray for the families who find joy and fulfillment in choosing to adopt. Be with those who come to terms with the pain of infertility, and inspire all of us who have room in our hearts and homes to include children with special needs in our families.

Bless all our children and families, and grant that we may find and reflect your love as we care for each other.

Amen.

By Rev. Rob Keithan, Unitarian Universalist minister

 

Abiding Spirit, God of Love and Understanding,

Be with us, and be with me, on this journey of deliberation, resolution, and healing.

It might not be my body,
It might not be my decision,
But I am here:

Because she matters to me,
Because I care,
Because no one should have to do this alone.

It might be the best decision,
But that doesn’t make it easy—
For her or for me:

I can still feel scared,
I can still feel sad,
I can still feel a sense of loss.

There is a child that will never be.

Help me, and help us, to be at peace.

Help us to take care of ourselves:

To feel grief if we need to,
To feel relief if we need to,
To feel whatever it is we need to.

Help us to find comfort,

Knowing that this decision makes a different future possible.

I am here:

Because she matters to me,
Because I care,
Because no one should have to do this alone.

Please be with me,

And please be with us,

Just as the sun brings warmth and light to each new day.

 Amen.

Creator God, we pray for men; those whom you have created to share in the conception of life, and share in the responsibility of raising children.

We ask that you would help them be all that you have created them to be. Help them to see themselves as whole persons, so that they can help their partners and their children be themselves as well. Help them to be present to their families if they’ve been too long absent. Help them to speak out against injustice where they’ve been silent; help them to be understanding and supportive of the pro-choice decisions of their sisters, mothers, wives, and female friends.

But most of all God, give them the love and tenderness they need to be loving and faithful partners. May they welcome the opportunity to be supportive of the children they help bring into this world. Give them courage and strength to live according to your guidance and wisdom always.

Amen.

The Qur’an says: God does not tax a being beyond its capability. (2:286) And remember, too, that God says, “And when my servants ask you about me, I am close…I answer the please of the asker if he asks me.” (Q2:186). Take heart then, and know that God understands what you do and why you do it. There is nothing that you may not ask your God about. You are a woman and you are born free.

Remember that all perceive through the lenses of human fallibility. What is the first verse of the Qur’an? In the name of God, the Beneficent, and Merciful. It is not about judgment or forgiveness, even…but that beneficence and mercy and love that are part of God’s essence. And for whom is the beneficence, this mercy, if not for you?

Amen.

Mother-Father God, Loving Parent, it is never easy to look into the face of a child desperately in need. But we do acknowledge that it is much easier to respond and offer our help when we can actually see that desperation; see first hand the plight and witness ourselves the conditions and sources of misery.

Help us, Creator of All, to continue to open our hearts and hands to those children in our world whom we can see are motherless, fatherless, hungry, ill, abandoned, oppressed, violated, without hope, addicted, violent, homeless, imprisoned, victimized.

But we know that there are more children in need than we can actually see. More whose lives, for many reasons, are hidden from our view. More who are not only not seen and not heard but whose needs and lives are altogether forgotten by the adults who hold all the power in their world.

We are confident though, Loving One, that their need is not unseen by you, their cries are not unheard by you, nor their lives unremembered by you. So we would ask that you show them to us, and open our ears to their pleas. And when you believe that we are ready, bring us into their lives so that we might join our lives to theirs and together build a better world for every child.

Amen.

Written by Rev. Lesley Brogan of Atlanta, GA for RCRC’s “Walking Together” event

 

One: Spirit of Life, we know you by many names or no name at all.  Gather us together this day.  Here are your daughters and sons from the north and the south, from the east and the west.  They have been called to serve us all, one by one and two by two.  Gather them together to listen, to speak and to act.  As you have shown justice and peace, guide them so that justice and peace walk hand in hand.

People: Holy One, hear our prayer.

One: Spirit of Love, knowing that we can only see what lies just ahead of us, guide our leaders’ steps, we pray.  Remind them of your loving presence in each choice.  Whether stepping out alone, or being encouraged by companions who lend a hand or an arm along the way, may we all be reminded that you are present each hour of each day.

People: Holy One, hear our prayer.

One: Gracious Spirit of Justice you have brought us to this new day of possibility and hope.  You have created and are creating still.  Inspire our leaders to follow your teachings.  Empower them to engage in conversations that will shed light and compassion.  Help them listen to those with whom they disagree.  And may we all be reminded, in what has gone before and in what is yet to come, that you are indeed faith, hope and love.

People: Holy One, hear our prayer.  

Amen.

Written by Rev. Lesley Brogan of Atlanta, GA for RCRC’s “Walking Together” event

 

One: Gracious and loving God, we give you thanks for this new day.  We pray for the dedicated people who serve on the staffs of those who have been elected.  Use their minds and hearts to further your work in us and in our country.  Awaken in them a focus and energy for service.  Begin in them acts of justice and mercy just as mercy and justice have been shown in the past.

People: Inspire us all to do justice.

One: Merciful One, inspire and renew those called to serve on each staff so that whether seen or unseen, they know that they remain grounded in your care.  Remind them when overwhelmed and discouraged that arm in arm and heart to heart, there is grace enough here, wisdom enough here, and compassion enough here to do what is next to do.  Encourage us step-by-step to trust the path that is before us.

People: Transform us all to love tenderly.

One: Transforming God of history and mystery bless those who serve on staffs in this day of new beginnings and in the days that are to come.  They have been entrusted with this work for just this precious time.  Remind them that they are a part of something greater than the papers read over and over again, something broader than the meetings wearily attended.  Rekindle in them a passion and compassion for the greater good.  Stir up in them and in all of us a vision that sees beyond the immediate, not just for ourselves but also for generations that will follow long after us.

People: Renew us all to walk humbly with you, our God. 

Amen.

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