We, the religious communities who comprise the Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council, raise our voices in lamentation over the Supreme Court’s stripping away of a pregnant person’s constitutionally protected freedom to choose for themselves and for their family whether or not to continue a pregnancy.

Roe vs Wade was overruled because the former president was able to choose three justices who shared an anti-abortion ideology. The fact that during their confirmation hearings each of these three justices pledged fidelity to precedent and acknowledged that Roe was well-established precedent didn’t stop them from acting contrary to their testimony once they were confirmed and had the chance.

The law is what a majority of Supreme Court justices say it is. But being legal doesn’t make it right. In truth, this decision to overturn Roe is a great wrong.

It is a great wrong because it preferences some religious teachings and interpretations over other religious traditions that value the life and welfare of women ahead of that of the unborn fetus.

It is a great wrong because of the harm it will do to pregnant people who live in states that no longer offer safe and legal abortions.

It is a great wrong because the hurt inflicted will not be borne equally. Poor and working-class Black and Brown folks will bear the brunt of this ruling, possessing fewer of the resources allowing wealthier, and usually White, women to seek safe and legal abortions out of state.

It is a great wrong because if a child is forced to birth a child their body and spirit may be severely damaged.  They may never recover physically, mentally or spiritually.

It is a great wrong because its real-world impact is racist, classist, and sexist.

It is a great wrong because it places one segment of one religion above all other religions.  This act takes away religious freedom.

It is a great wrong that we, people of religious faiths that value freedom of choice, equity and individual dignity, must commit ourselves to putting right by enacting federal legislation that restores reproductive protections to all in our country.

Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen, Minister, Church in Ocean Park, President, Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council, Steering Committee, Committee for Racial Justice