Position – Reproductive Justice
November 27, 2017
Education about and access to birth control are the best means to avoid unintended pregnancies, but abortion care must remain a safe, legal, and available option for all women in this country.
Women deserve dignity and respect for the choices they make concerning their reproductive health.
The religious freedom of people opposed to abortion should not impede the religious and civil rights of other people who are not opposed to abortion.
The best way to prevent abortions is to prevent unintended pregnancies.
If legal, safe, affordable abortion is not available, women who find themselves with unwanted pregnancies will seek and obtain unsafe and illegal abortions and unwanted children will be born into untenable situations. The greatest impact will be on the poor, who can least afford the cost of safe abortions and for whom the burden of this choice is greatest.
OUR ADVOCACY POINTS
Women must be respected as moral decision-makers, making choices based on their own moral and religious beliefs and traditions and their own consciences.
The decision to terminate a pregnancy or not should be made by the woman involved and her health care provider, without interference from government or other people opposed to abortion.
Clergy, therapists, abortion care providers and others who counsel women on these matters must be free from harassment, intimidation, violence and possible legal action.
Missouri state funding for family planning programs should be reinstated and increased.
Birth control pills and emergency contraception should be available over the counter. Until that happens, pharmacists should be required to dispense birth control and emergency contraception to women upon request. If a pharmacist is unwilling or unable to do this, immediate referral to a cooperative pharmacy must be required.
Sex education, which includes information about contraception and enthusiastic consent as well as abstinence, should be mandatory in all public high schools.