Last week I attended a forum and participated in a panel discussion regarding issues of reproductive justice at a well known university in the south. The discussion was full of energy, questions and comments in discovery. As a woman of color and leader in the faith community, I must admit my disappointment, but not surprise in the lack of attendance from the black community. White women, Asian women and a couple of White males who acknowledged their particular interest in the conversation were present at the table. I was grateful for one participant who invited us to read a recent article printed in the New York Times, entitled “The War on Women”. I took her advice and after reading the article my disappointment reached a deeper threshold of concern. The article shared quote “the House of Representatives [is] mounting an assault on women’s health and freedom that would deny millions of women access to affordable contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases”. These egregious cuts are included in the house resolution to eliminate the support for Title X. (The Federal Family Planning Program for low-income women).
Time and time again we have witnessed and experienced the so called religious right flexing their muscles to legislate women’s rights by impeding our rights both to govern our own bodies and to make decisions that are best suited for our lives. This group is and has always been relentless in their attempt to sabotage our opportunities for total wellbeing by revoking our reproductive health care. Enough is enough…If we as women and men, particularly women and men of color are not willing to come to the table and get involved we will only have a reflective thought to dwell on at the end of the day. I both honor and commend the women and men who are courageous, hard working, dedicated and more than champions in the struggle, but this day and age has brought light to the nature of this struggle, it is a struggle for humanity. If we cannot get beyond the differences that continue to divide us as people of faith and get in the struggle together to articulate and fight for our rights, dignity, goals, ideas, visions, and dreams in ways that are both personally and communally beneficial…we cannot transform this world. Transforming this world into the Kingdom of God requires courageous work with a unified front. How long people of God…will it take the Black Church and the Black Community to join our voices against the powers and principalities and stop the madness?!
I invite you to get involved NOW! Contact us at rcrc.org we can get you connected.
Rev. Antoinette D. Kemp the Georgia Consultant for the National Black Church Initiative and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in Washington, DC. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She earned an MDiv degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, and currently serves as a Corporate/Industrial Chaplain, for Cobb-Vantress, Inc. (a division of Tyson Corporation) Rev. Kemp is the Executive Director for African Pilgrimages Inc.,