“Protecting Abortion Access: What We Can Do”
The Florida legislature has just passed, and Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law, a 6-week abortion ban that is expected to take effect sometime this summer. This extreme abortion ban is against all our Unitarian Universalist principles. A ballot initiative to put an abortion protection amendment into the Florida constitution has been announced. Participating in the intensive, statewide effort to get signatures is something Unitarian Universalists can do. Link here for information, petition and ways to drop off petition. The goal: 900,000+ by December 2023.
Lake Eola amphitheater was filled with central Floridians supporting constitutional freedoms and dreams. Many groups spoke, and our local congressman, Maxwell Frost, supported the many groups in attendance for coming together for the upcoming challenges.
Sharing LOVE in the face of state-sanctioned hate was the focus of this powerful rally. Giving hope to many marginalized groups – Dreamers, LGBTQ+, union organizers, resistance advocates – as we were reminded that we are working together for a better and fairer community.
The Florida Farm Workers know about Dreams and Freedoms. It is time to unite for the freedom to Exist, Love and Dream!
Gore Hall was a busy place on Sunday. There was a cake to celebrate Rev. Margalie’s invocation ceremony and her birthday as well as postcard writing concerning the bill HB 1421 titled Gender Clinical Interventions – encompassing much more.
The tables of postcard writers were busy with members and friends writing postcards to Florida lawmakers expressing our concerns about the harm that passing HB 1421 will cause. While portions of this bill — the near complete ban on doctors performing gender clinical interventions — apply only to performing those interventions on minors, the ban on insurance coverage applies to any healthcare that meets the state’s definition regardless of age. It also may block gender health long term care (medical interventions and medications).
In addition, previously enacted Department of Health policy on gender affirming care for minors and this legislation may criminalize doctors who offer care (surgical or medication) as well as risk their medical licenses. In addition, it seems to say that minors could be removed from their parents if they left the state for medical interventions.
More worrying, it could ban “birth control, hormone treatment for menopause, for breast cancer, anti-androgen treatments for prostate cancer, [and] for PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome]” among other conditions because of the vague wording. In addition, the bill prohibits changes in birth certificates that reflect gender identity in most cases.
Thanks to all that heard the concern and organized this effort. Thanks to all who participated!
All postcards completed and sent! And, lots of spring love as evidenced by a lively Green Team meeting.
The following was taken from the Frequently Asked Questions. See this link for all the FYI questions and answers. Vote online or at the Congregational Meeting on March 19.
What is the language of the 8th Principle?
“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:
journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our
actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
Adopting the 8th Principle is a tangible expression of love.
The 8th Principle consciously embraces all members of the UU community. It is an expression of care, inclusion, and
action. Here are some additional videos/websites.
The 8th Principle Matters to Members of the BIPOC Community.
https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/bipoc-and-8th-principle (video 1:18)
The 8th Principle Matters to UU Youth. https://www.uua.org/midamerica/news/blog/my-experience-
The 8th Principle Matters to Religious Educators. https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/re-and-
You can also hear about the experiences of four congregations (Philadelphia, Honolulu, Annapolis,
Summit, NJ) with the 8th Principle in this video https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/ministry-8th-
VOTE March 19th at Spring Congregational Meeting.
The following groups at 1U have endorsed the work of the 8th principle: The Green Team, WUURL, RUUM, Wrestling with our Understanding of Racism, and The Board of Trustees.
WHERE 1st U Gathering Space in the Enrichment Center (next to the Assembly Room)
TIME: 9:30 AM
DATES: Sundays – January 15th, February 5th, February 12th
In his book “How To Raise an AntiRacist” Ibram X Kendi shares his family’s experiences and how they began to recognize how what we bring into our children’s lives implicitly and explicitly affects their interactions of the world. Please join Rev. Kierstin in a facilitated discussion around the book.
For the first session, because it is so close, please have at least looked over the introduction and maybe the first sample chapter that you can see online.
*Children are welcome in the space and when possible, child care will be provided.
During the December Wrestling with Understanding of Race meeting, the current seven principles and the proposed 8th Principle were discussed as the pathway toward spiritual wholesness. The full mean of a culture of inclusion as discussed during the Saturday Workshop was discussed as a major force guiding the building of a diverse multicultural Beloved Community.
Concerned UUs filled the room on Sunday. The focus of the meeting was the intersection of Racism and Restriction of Women’s Bpdies. Two articles were recommended to read before the meeting. Participants-in the room and on line left the meeting with a broader understanding of the ways women of color, and non-gender conforming individuals are being affected by the ruling-directly and indirectly.
One was an interview with Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and executive director of We Testify, an organization dedicated to telling the stories of people who have had abortions, focused the discussion on this larger issue and racism. The interview started with the following introduction: The calls of activists have forced a national reckoning with the legacy of white supremacy in our country. That reckoning has led us to examine the systems that exert control over and oppress Black lives, from policing to reproductive health care.There is a long history of the ways that reproductive freedom has been denied to Black women. There is also an important history of the ways that people of color, led by Black women, have built movements to liberate themselves and reclaim their bodily autonomy. Link here to the interview.
The second article was Abortion is also about racial justice, experts and advocates Say by Sandhya Dirks An excerpt: Colon is the founder of Shero, an acronym for Sisters Helping Everyone Rise and Organize, which helps fight for equal access to abortion in a state that famously has only one remaining abortion clinic. It’s the clinic that was at the center of the lawsuit that overturned Roe v. Wade.”We are here for all women and girls, all people, but our specific target — and we’re unapologetic about that — is Black and brown,” Colon says.Colon makes it clear that includes “non-gender conforming individuals and trans women. That’s what Shero is here for,” she says “because we have been left out.” Link here to the NPR article.