WITNESS FOR JUSTICE #1050 Love Is Greater Than Fear

Amy Johnson

“When I can’t find another way

When I don’t have the words to say

I pray that you are there

I pray love is greater than fear

Love is greater than

Greater than

Greater than fear…”

(lyrics from “Love is Greater Than Fear“ by The Many, reprinted with permission)

When I think about the Supreme Court hearing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – a case that may decimate the freedom of people to choose safe and legal abortion care – I pray that our love and compassion for each of God’s beloved children is greater than our fear of what decisions each of us make.

I pray that our love for each pregnant person and their individual story of how their pregnancy occurred is greater than our fear that God will somehow smite us if we choose abortion.

“I pray that love is greater than, greater than, greater than fear.”

I pray that we open our hearts with love to recognize the injustices that perpetuate unintentional pregnancy: lack of adequate sexuality education, lack of access to affordable contraception and reproductive health care, and a society whose systems are full of racism, misogyny and patriarchy so intricately interwoven that we consistently place a disproportionate burden on low-income and poor women of color. I pray that our knowledge of these injustices overcomes our fear of providing access to information, education, and services to every body about reproductive health and pregnancy options.

“I pray that love is greater than, greater than, greater than fear.”

I pray that we stop using the pulpits in our sanctuaries to bully, stigmatize, and silence those who advocate for reproductive justice, and especially to shame and denounce those people who access abortion and those who work to keep it safe and legal.

I pray for common sense to prevail, because decades of research clearly shows that restricting abortion care does not reduce the number of abortions. It only reduces the availability of safe and legal abortions. Restricting access to abortion care increases fear, shame, stigma, and violence. I pray for love to be greater than these.

I pray that every pregnancy is wanted, and every pregnant person is able to receive abundant support and care before, during, and after bringing new life into this world. And when that is not the case, I pray for those who choose abortion and those who provide abortion care – who are harassed, threatened and harmed because their love for agency, choice, and freedom is greater than their fear of those who hate, harm, and judge in the name of the one who came to teach us to love one another.

I pray, over and over again, that our love for each other as beloved community is greater than our fear of what might happen if people of all genders truly have bodily agency.

I pray, oh yes, I pray, that we choose for love to be greater than, greater than, greater than fear.

Amy Johnson is the Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice for the United Church of Christ.

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