[Episcopal Women’s Caucus] The Board of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, a social justice advocacy group within the Episcopal Church, expresses our outrage at the current political discourse regarding reproductive justice. We are appalled by the misinformation that speaks of “forcible rape” as something different from ordinary rape and asserts that, in a “legitimate rape,” a woman will not get pregnant, because her body has a way to “shut that whole thing down.”
Those of us who have worked to raise awareness about women’s rights and promoted changes in laws to more actively prosecute rapists, strengthen jail sentences, and help victims of rape and sexual assault find help and hope feel that we have back tracked in time. We are living a nightmare.
The Episcopal Women’s Caucus is committed to changing this nightmare, reinforcing and increasing acts of justice.
First, we take a firm stand against any and all representatives, senators and other legislators who aim to limit the health care options any woman — particularly a raped and pregnant woman — has available to her.
Second, the Episcopal Women’s Caucus supports Rev. Harry Knox, president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, when he writes:
“Congressman Akin misunderstands the Biblical meaning of the word ‘justice.’ He talks about bringing rapists to justice, but he apparently doesn’t realize that true justice requires that a woman who has been raped have every resource available to her as she rebuilds her life after trauma. One of those resources must be the option to end a pregnancy caused by her rapist.”
Additionally, the Episcopal Women’s Caucus calls upon the membership and leadership of the Episcopal church — at international, national, diocesan and local levels — to write to their representatives, senators and other legislators to express their outrage and distress about this archaic ideology and deeply flawed theology that is the foundation of this political and anti-women position.
In turning nightmares into dreams of justice, the Episcopal Women’s Caucus will actively work to ensure that people are informed and not misinformed. We actively work to promote the well-being of all people. Each woman should have the right to choose how to best care for herself, her whole self. Because we are made in the image of God, and that is sacred.
The Episcopal Women’s Caucus is a justice organization dedicated to Gospel values of equality and liberation and committed to the incarnation of God’s unconditional love. For more information, visit www.episcopalwomenscaucus.org.