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Holy Shift!

introduction

Morality and religion are strongly correlated with each other – and with attitudes toward abortion. The Culture Change Strategy Group is working to dismantle abortion stigma among religious leaders and followers.

The abortion access movement has struggled to successfully engage with religious communities. As a result, we ‘re trapped in debates that dismiss the shared values of abortion advocates, many of which we share with religious believers, which could help lay a foundation for bridging this gap. These debates also hide the fact that many abortion advocates are people of faith, or support abortion because of their faith. If we do not identify and try to reach moral and religious communities, we miss an opportunity to engage and mobilize potential supporters, increase our power, and neutralize some of our opposition.

our strategies

  1. 1. Develop a theory of change showing religious views as opportunities and barriers, and use it to identify new messages that resonate with more conservative morality.
  2. 2.Conduct baseline research on key audiences, notably Millennials, Gen Z, and students at college campuses and seminaries. How do these audiences weigh morality in their abortion attitudes compared to older generations?
  3. 3.Engage and prepare clergy in Black and white mainline protestant churches to provide pastoral care for those who need abortions.
  4. 4. Engage and prepare clergy in Black and white mainline protestant churches to become messengers and norm-setters within their congregations and denominations on the topic of abortion.
  5. 5.Develop a research-based discussion guide for members of congregations to support and model personal conversations about reproductive decisions and experiences, for example when to become a parent, birth control, fertility, and abortion.
  6. 6.Develop a media campaign showcasing our fellow movement activists who are also people of faith telling stories about reproductive experiences, including abortion, in their lives and communities.
  7. 7.Create spaces for collaboration and discussion within and across all faiths on the topic of reproduction, including access to abortion.
  8. 8.Work with abortion activists of different faiths to create nuanced talking points from a range of religious perspectives on abortion.
  9. 9.Invest in leadership among abortion activists of faith, particularly young people.
  10. 10.Conduct research to understand the relationship dynamics for movement activists who have anti-abortion family members.
  11. 11.Create a way for activists to determine where their family member’s beliefs lie on a continuum of moral attitudes on abortion.
  12. 12.Publish a guidebook for family conversations corresponding to the continuum of moral attitudes on abortion.
  13. 13.Create a Story Corps-style conversation podcast as a vessel for conversations, allowing for others inside and outside the movement to have low-risk, intimate listening experiences.


Are you working on a project aligned with these strategies, or want to join in on these strategies? Email Madeline at madeline@seachangeprogram.org.

group members

Kate Cockrill

Executive Director, Sea Change Program

Jenni Kotting

Communications Director, National Network of Abortion Funds; Communications Committee Co-Chair, CAARE

Mia Kim Sullivan

Co-Director, Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program

Rev. Rob Keithan

Faith Organizing and Training Consultant

group members

Kate Cockrill

Executive Director, Sea Change Program

Jenni Kotting

Communications Director, National Network of Abortion Funds; Communications Committee Co-Chair, CAARE

Mia Kim Sullivan

Co-Director, Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program

Rev. Rob Keithan

Faith Organizing and Training Consultant

take action

Are you ready to take action? Reach out and let us know if you want to take on one of these strategies, or join us as we take action on them. By working together, we can achieve even more than we can alone.

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