Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Missouri Pro Choice Lobby Day 2009

Hello Everyone!
Yesterday was the Missouri Pro-Choice Lobby day in Jefferson City, MO. Faith Aloud had a great time along with Planned Parenthood, Naral Pro-Choice MO, Promo and many others. We had two bills to focus on while at Lobby Day. One was SB 264 (aka The Abortion Restriction Bill of 2009) and the Other was The Prevention First Act which is in the House as HB999 and in the Senate as SB329.
Here's little info on both:
The Abortion Restriction Bill of 2009 contains a lot of extreme measures that hurt women and providers while doing nothing to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. It places unnescssary reqirements on women who want to terminate their pregnacies by adding extra steps prior to their procedures that may take days to complete. It also add extra work for doctors and their staff for no reason. THIS IS A BAD BILL FOR ALL WOMEN AND DOCTORS!

The Prevention First Act is all about preventing unintended pregnancies, and improving access to preventive health care measures. This bill would repeal the restrictions around medically accurate comprehensive Sexual Education for all sexualities. It would ensure vicitms of sexual assault were given access and information about Plan B. Finally it would ensure that women of all backgrounds were able to access affordable birth control and yearly well woman exams.

To conclude Lobby Day Faith Aloud put together a Interfaith Service. The Speakers included: Rev. Krista Taves, Minister at Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel, Kate Lovelady, Leader of The Ethical Society St. Louis, Lucy Smith, Member of PPSLR's TASH and My Faith Aloud, Rev. Rebecca Turner, Disciple of Christ minister and Executive Director of Faith Aloud, Kelli Whitman, Eden Seminary Student and Outreach Coordinator of Faith Aloud, and Rev. Teresa Mithen, Priest at St. John's Episcopal Church.
Here is a snippet of that service:
Family Planning is embraced by religions across the spectrum as a moral good, a responsible choice, and a basic human right. The world’s religions recognize that family planning helps build strong families, protect the health of women and children, reduce child and spousal abuse, and prevent unwanted pregnancies

Also Check out these Photos from Lobby day:

And a video will be on its way very soon so check back here to see it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day!

Here are a few thoughts from faith aloud about the intersections of Environmental Justice and Reproductive Justice in honor of earth day! ENJOY!

Reproductive justice is not just about abortion, birth control, or family planning. Protecting our planet is an important factor when discussing reproductive and general health. We must be cognizant of our impact upon the planet and fellow human beings, and work to keep our oceans clean, soil fertile, people healthy and our planet safe.

Where does Faith Aloud stand on
Reproductive Justice & the Environment?

We DO NOT support abortion or family planning as a form of population control

We DO support the ability of individuals and families to make environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible reproductive health decisions.

We Do support responsible parenting that recognizes how badly we have damaged the planet and the health risks that presents.

We Do support the consideration of environmental health when deciding if and how to bring children into the world.

And here is how different faiths view the intersection of reproductive justice and environmental justice:

Jewish traditions highlight a relationship between the environment and responsible family planning:
“Human beings are supposed to exercise their power.. and free will to be wise stewards of Creation. They should help to maintain the Order of Creation even while they are allowed to use it for their own benefit within certain limits established by God (Genesis 2:14).” **

Here's what some Christian theologians say:
“Christ demonstrates what it means to be created in the image of God: he does not grasp his equality, but lets it go to become the servant of all. We need to see that the real image.. revealed in Christ, is to be a humble servant. We need to become servants of creation and thus reveal in ourselves the true likeness of God.” (Colossians 1.15 and Philippians 2.6
7.) ***

And religions such as Buddhism also teach:
“ planning when people feel it would be a burden on themselves or their environment to have more [kids].” ****

Now tell us your thoughts on the intersection of Reproductive justice and the environment! What have you heard your faith say? What spiritual practices do you use to honor the earth and your own body? Let us know by commenting here or emailing

*Levi, Yehuada Leo “Jewish Environmental Perspectives” http://

** Troster, Rabbi Lawrence “Ten Teachings on Judaism and the Environment”

***Brown, Jennifer “A Christian Perspective on the environment”

**** Stacey, Dawn M.Ed, LMHC,”What Do Religions Say About Birth Control and Family Planning?” additionalresources/ss/religion_8.htm

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Twitter and You Tube

Hey folks!
Faith Aloud is proud to announce it's very own YouTube Channel and Twitter page. Check them both out! and

See you all this sunday at the Faith Aloud Awards and Tues the 28th at missouri prochoice lobby day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hello out there!
Here is a clip of the previously mentioned counseling DVD's that Faith Aloud has produced for clinics. They cost $5 each and can be purchased by emailing Kelli at

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Live from Hampshire College Conference....

Hey folks of the blogging universe...... Autumn here still at the Hampshire College Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice. On our last day here we come together to look at where we are going and where we dream we can go. Paris Hatcher is the co-executive director of SPARK. Her dreams came in the form of a "moody love letter to the movement" full of questions and what she feels are the answers the movement of reproductive justice has given her. She dreams of a long term vision.She asks "Are we prepared to do this if the doing of it looks different? The drive to professionalize our movement is burning it out. Will we do it if we don't get paid? do we encourage by push back and dissent." She concludes with the hope filled statement that "the movement might actually love me"

Susanna George is on the board of ARROW. Her dreams for the movement involve us "Thinking trans nationally and locally and acting trans nationally and locally." SHe asks all of us for a Spirit of collectivism while we live in the era of the father of all hierarchies. We must consider struggles of social justice activist around the world. George quotes Benedict Anderson: a nation is a imagined political community and then invites us all to imagine a different kind of political community a world-wide political community.

Carol Mason of Oklahoma State University begins her dreams with the statement that the prosecution of pregnant women which feeds Prison Industrial Complex. She states that "The issue of abortion is a manufactured moral divide in the united states. Abortion is still being used to distract from attention from things women have in common" She believes that finding real common ground is a way to cross the manufactured moral divide and that fetal personhood laws affect all pregnant women, in fact it affects all women. On that topic be sure to check out this awesome video :

David Zielinski Koska talked about how violence is the simultaneous dehumanization of the perpetrator and victim. Koska believes scarcity is first lesson of violence...and capitalism. Feminism is the smallest unit of anarchist resistance. Koska's dreams focus on Abundance and justice. Resist anything that tells us and our organization that we are actually in competition with each other.

Mia Herndon who is the executive director at Third Wave. She says that while "Warren buffet and I are not homies yet." she still believes that there is enough funding to make the movement work. She believes that the resources of large foundations " are built off our backs so the money deserves to go back into our community." She spoke about the critique that adding other sites of oppression to our movement, going from a rights stance to a justice stand point, dilutes our movement. Her response to this is that "in life I never separate all these things so how can I separate them in my activism" She also noted that the revolution will not be funded by foundations alone. IT needs the fuel of our reflections and deep thinking. Finally she laughingly pointed out that fun is important because no one wants to join a movement where everyone looks upset. Winning is our duty and it is a possibility. Winning does not have to be one way. We can win together.

Lastly Moderator Lani Blechman gave us her dreams in the form of a To Do List for the Movement. Part of that list follows:
be resilient
be passionate
know who divides you
don't forget the differences
don't forget technology
don't forget to talk face to face
you are funny be funny
work smart
value each other
don't believe the hype
ground work in experinces
know your limits
sit in conflict
build collective power
move beyond comfort zones
and win!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


On the criminalization of sexuality....this topic includes but is not limited to LGBTQ issues, Sex work., and punitive apporach to women who become pregnant while using drugs or alcohol. There is an overarching patriarchal paternalism. So what can we do? Check out Fierce FIERCE developed the Save Our Space organizing platform to counter the displacement and criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color and homeless youth at the Christopher Street Pier and in Manhattan's West Village. They also work to support the Jersey 4. Check out their website. You can work to legalize Sex work and give sex workers the right to unionize and do the work they want without police harassment. You can check out the National Advocates for Pregnant Women at, National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) works to guarantee the basic human rights of health and welfare of all women, with a particular focus on pregnant women. Lots of info...also on this topic check out Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino which is available in the Faith Aloud Library to see the criminalization of polyamory.

Live Blogging from Hampshire....

hey everyone! Autumn here at the Hampshire College Conference...There is so much going on! From fabulous performers to great workshops to new and old friends! Yesterday at a workshop on "Resisting the Right" I was asked to define the religious left. I was asked to define the what defines a faith perspective as acceptable for Faith Aloud. I stumbled on this question. I did my best to define a perspective that was pro-choice, feminist, that supported LGBTQ equality and worked to end racism. I imagine my answer sounded kind of like a jumble of liberal ideas and multi-faith mumbles. Then panelist Chip Berlet, who is a Senior analyst at Political Research Associates, summed it up in a few words. He said basically that the religious left is any faith or spiritual viewpoint that unequivocally supports human rights for everyone. This is the common ground that faith, spiritual and ethical perspectives share with reproductive justice through the work of Faith Aloud. More later...