Quakers, abortion, and the white Christian problem

The Policy Committee of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is asking Quaker meetings for input for a statement about reproductive justice and abortion.

In the interest of time, I have not yet converted this to a blog post. You should be able to read and/or download “Quakers, Abortion, and the White Christian Problem” using the link below. We plan to discuss this at my Quaker meeting this weekend.

I began collecting various statements about abortion from my Yearly Meeting. Reproductive justice has always been a concern of Indigenous people in this country, so I also included some writings from my Indigenous friends. As can be seen in this document, young people, and especially my Indigenous friends see abortion as a problem of White Christians. I’m wondering what my White Quaker Friends think about that. Does that change how White Friends think and act about reproductive justice? Isn’t this an opportunity to build community amongst all of us?

DISCLAIMER: I am the author of this, and it is not an official publication of any group or organization.

Request for Discernment Regarding Reproductive Health and Abortion

Every two years the Friends Commitee on National Legislation (FCNL) distributes questions to ask which legislative policies Quaker meetings and churches support. All of these are collected, and FCNL’s Policy Committee distills those responses into the legislative priorities that will determine what issues FCNL’s lobbyists will focus on as they work with Congress.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, the Policy Committee of FCNL’s General Committee heard concern from Friends around the country about FCNL’s lack of position on the issue of abortion. 

FCNL’s Policy Committee is seeking the help of Friends in discerning what FCNL should say about reproductive health care in its policy statement.

Queries for Discernment on FCNL’s Policy on Reproductive Health Care

“Friends seek to establish a way of being in the world that grows out of and embodies prayer, worshipful listening for the whisper of divine guidance, and seasoning in the community of faith.”

Margery Post Abbott, A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying

FCNL’s Policy Statement, The World We Seek, serves as our foundational document, outlining FCNL’s broad policy positions.

The statement currently reads:

III.2.6: Health Care. Universal access to affordable, effective, comprehensive health care is a right and is necessary to allow all people to fulfill their potential. Comprehensive health care includes primary, acute, and long-term care, including prescription drugs, as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment. To ensure access, health services should be provided where an individual’s needs can best be met. Our country can only maintain and improve the physical and mental health of its population with affordable health care that covers the entire life span, from prenatal to end-of-life care. Public health services, which protect us all, require robust federal support.

III.2.7. NOTE: Members of the Society of Friends are not in unity on abortion issues. Therefore, FCNL takes no position and does not act either for or against abortion legislation. On occasion, FCNL may appeal to lawmakers not to use the abortion debate to paralyze action on other legislation.”

FCNL’s Policy Committee invites your Quaker discernment group to focus on the issue of reproductive health care, including abortion, and advise us on whether FCNL should revise our policy statement.

Queries and structure to support discernment:

  • What does reproductive health care look like in the world that you and your community seek?
  • How are the Quaker values and testimonies relevant to the issue of abortion?
  • Should the FCNL Policy Statement be revised on the issues of abortion and reproductive health and abortion?
  • If so, what should the Policy Statement say?

Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines for Group Discernment

Whether you are gathering in person, online, or in a hybrid format, we hope that your discernment will be spiritually grounded and a result of group conversations. These discussions may take many forms, including discernment by a committee, an informal group, or a First Day discussion topic. Some meetings or churches may adopt a minute expressing the sense of their group, although this is not a requirement.

You may want to prepare for discernment by reading the pamphlet, A Guide to Dialogue About Abortion. Tools such as this can help your conversation honor the complexity and urgency surrounding this topic.

To allow for the inclusion of a diversity of voices, we hope you will include people of different ages, backgrounds, and lived experiences in your discernment. Please identify at least one person who will submit your group’s responses.

Supporting Friends’ Discernment on Reproductive Health

FCNL’s Policy Committee has invited Friends to listen deeply in their communities around issues of reproductive health care, including abortion. Friends are invited to share the results of their discernment and to offer guidance on what FCNL should say about these issues in its policy statement.

Friends hold complex and nuanced perspectives on these topics. Sometimes, conversations about abortion and reproductive health can evoke strong emotions and reactions, forming polarized “sides” that don’t leave room for empathy, compassion, and understanding. How can we hold these difficult conversations in ways that prevent harm and support spiritual discernment?

On March 22 at 6:30 p.m. EST, join members of FCNL’s Policy Committee and Friends who are organizing these sessions for perspectives and advice on engaging your Quaker meeting or church in discernment to guide FCNL’s policy going forward.

When you sign up to attend, please share questions and topics you would like addressed. Please note: this event is intended to support people organizing or participating in discernment in their communities. It will not itself be a discernment or listening session.


  • Moderator: Ebby Luvaga, Clerk of FCNL’s Policy Committee
  • Genie Stowers, Member of FCNL’s Policy Committee
  • Lauren Brownlee, FCNL’s Associate General Secretary for Community and Culture

ZOOM information

MARCH 22, 2023, 6:30 – 7:30 PM EDT |  ONLINE

Join the Zoom video conference online or via telephone. Time: March 22nd, 6:30 p.m. EDT.

Go to: fcnl.org/qwc-stream

Or call: US: +1 301 715 8592. Then enter the Meeting ID: 820 2927 5353#
You shouldn’t need this, but just in case: Meeting ID: 820 2927 5353Passcode: 273787
We will send you this information to join the event via email as well.
If you do not receive a confirmation email presently, please check your spam folders.
Questions? Reach out to Clare Carter (ccarter@fcnl.org).

Reproductive Justice

Last May I was honored to attend and take photos at the Rally for Productive Justice for my friends.

The draft to end Roe and Casey was leaked just two days before the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Relatives (aka, Missing and Murdered Women and Girls). We are honoring this day by uplifting radical solidarity within all communities affected by colonial violence when body sovereignty is stolen from us.

Join our coalition of organizations and grassroots activists for a rally to demand abortion access, which plays a huge role in ending the MMIR crisis. Lack of access increases violence and health disparities in BIPOC, Disabled, LGBTQIA+, and Two-Sprit communities. Learn more from speakers and crowd testimony on how this affects these communities and take action on a wider scope than just abortion. We must abolish white supremacist and christian institutions that perpetuate colonial harm to oppress those that don’t fall into their manifest destiny paradigm.

Thank you to the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence for lighting the bridge and amphitheater red on May 5th in honor of MMIR Day of Awareness! The bridge will also be lit red on May 6th for our event!

ASL provided.
LiveStreamed to this page.

This event was organized by:
– Iowa Coalition for Collective Change
– Great Plains Action Society
– The Disability Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party
– Iowa CCI
– Des Moines BLM
– Sierra Club Beyond Coal
– Deaf Dome
– The Progressive Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party
– Iowa Abortion Access Fund
– One Iowa



White Christian Problem

Yesterday I wrote Building the Future We Want describing concepts to transition from current systems that are rapidly collapsing. What umair haque describes below as a Theocratic-Fascist Revolution.

At the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) Day dedicated to Reproductive Justice there were signs that had variations of “**** all white supremacist fundamentalist Christians for this attack on abortion.”

Edited from photo by Emma Colman

And the title of this post from the Great Plains Action Society is “End the White Christian Problem and Keep Abortion Legal.”

End the White Christian Problem and Keep Abortion Legal

Great Plains Action Society

Our MMIR Day dedicated to Reproductive Justice and solidarity with BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and the Disabled communities went well. The draft to end Roe and Casey was leaked just two days before the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Relatives (aka, Missing and Murdered Women and Girls). We honored this day by uplifting radical solidarity within all communities affected by colonial violence when body sovereignty is stolen from us.

We would like to thank the speakers, drummers, ASL interpreters, singer, drone operators, light board artists, projection artists, photographers, organizers, and the crowd!

The livestream is at: https://fb.watch/cWeodvqt27/
Pics by Emma Colman and Jeff Kisling

This was a coalition event organized by:
– Iowa Coalition for Collective Change
– Great Plains Action Society
– The Disability Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party
– Iowa CCI
– Des Moines BLM
– Sierra Club Beyond Coal
– Deaf Dome
– The Progressive Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party
– Iowa Abortion Access Fund
– One Iowa

#reproductivejustice #abortion #abortionrights #mmiw #mmiwg #mmir #solidarity

What’s happening in America is a revolution. But it’s not a good one.

Remember the Irani Revolution? The mullahs suddenly seized power from the Shah, backed by a militant faction of religious lunatics. And the next day, Iranis began to live under theocracy. What’s happening in America is a lot like that. A revolution, but not a forward moving one. Sometimes the wheel moves backwards — and crushes everyone under its path. This is such a time. America is having a totalitarian revolution, which combines all the flavours of social collapse, where theocrats, fascists, supremacist, and authoritarians have all made common cause, to slit democracy’s throat.

Revolutions are strange things. Americans are taught to lionise them, because of course their country was born in one. But every revolution has two sides. America’s revolution was the worst thing that ever happened to Native Americans or a whole lot of Africans.

And revolutions are, above all, shocking, surprising things — to the ones being revolted against. The French nobility could scarcely believe they were under the guillotine even as the blade fell.

This is where America is. It is in the midst of a revolution — and it doesn’t yet understand that. History will, because when so many lunatics take this much power this fast, and things change, suddenly, overnight, the only word to describe it is “revolution.” Americans are in shock precisely because, like so many before them, they are now facing the guillotines of revolution, and don’t understand how or why this happened. And yet the blade is falling — on a modern, democratic America.

What’s Happening to America? A Theocratic-Fascist Revolution. When a Fanatical 30% Suddenly Seizes Control of Your Society, It’s Called a Revolution by umair haque, Eudaimonia and Co, May 10, 2022