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From the Rev. Kit Lonergan
Dear people of Trinity and friends,
Three weeks ago our congregation reaffirmed our baptismal vows together on the feast of Pentecost: “Will you respect the dignity of every human being?” The echo of the congregation’s response resounded inside our sanctuary, complete with exclamation point: “We Will!”
Today, the Supreme Court overruled precedents set by Roe v. Wade, which provided and protected access to abortion care under the U.S. Constitution. Since 1967, The Episcopal Church has maintained “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions [about the termination of pregnancy] and to act upon them.” In 2018 our General Convention restated this support, naming that “women’s reproductive health and reproductive health procedures [should] be treated as all other medical procedures” and that “equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health care, is an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.”
The autonomy of a body—any body and all bodies—has been the promise of the people of God: Mary consenting to the Incarnation (cf. Luke 1:38), Jesus asking permission to heal (cf. Matthew 8:7), Jesus allowing others to touch him (cf. John 20:27— or not, cf. Mark 5:30). That very autonomy witnesses the life lived in Christ’s freedom beyond death—that Jesus’ bodily resurrection proved to his followers that our bodies are neither empty vessels, nor cumbersome baggage, but made in the image of God and gifted with free will.
While the Church does not limit herself to the false-binary, partisan designations of ‘Pro-Life’ or ‘Pro-Choice’, the Church does affirm the deeply sacred gift of life, and especially that which names and seeks to undo the inequitable structures in place which affect women and children in this country disproportionately, putting their health, lives, and welfare at deep risk.
Abortions cannot be considered apart from the humans experiencing the grief, trauma and heart-wrench in each case. The choice to have an abortion is not one lightly considered, and necessarily comes with the incarnate complexities of being human. Today’s decision does not simply prohibit medical procedures, but takes away from women the dignity of deciding their healthcare for themselves and for their families, for their health and for their loved ones’ shared futures.
We at Trinity—the gathered faithful of the Church—will each approach this decision from our own incarnate experiences, complexities, and prayer. I urge us to show gentleness with ourselves and others in this moment and to pray for those directly and negatively impacted.
You matter to God, Church, each of you, all of you – all of us. And God calls us to “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” as we professed, reminding each person of their God-given dignity, building up a community committed to doing the same for our siblings in the City of Boston, Massachusetts and beyond.
With love and prayer,
The Rev. Kit Lonergan
Priest for Welcome and Care
A statement from our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, may be found here.