Reproductive Freedom Congregation

Our discernment process and path to becoming a Reproductive Freedom Congregation.


First United Methodist Church of Austin is a faith community with a wide variety of experiences and convictions around reproductive health, and that is as it should be; we need one another, and diversity of thought and opinion is healthy. We believe the church is called to break down the toxic pro-life/pro-choice dichotomy, recognizing that in any community, our stories and our beliefs are not that simple.

In 2022, we entered a year of discernment to consider becoming Reproductive Freedom Congregation at the invitation of Just Texas, a project of the Texas Freedom Network. Our vote, in March 2023, affirmed First Church as a Reproductive Freedom Congregation and is an expression of our desire for every one of the diverse experiences and beliefs held in this community to be safely expressed in this place.

These experiences extend beyond abortion to include the full breadth of reproductive challenges and choices, including miscarriage, infertility, access to prenatal care, adoption, sterilization, access to birth control, and postpartum mental health among the many healthcare considerations of childbirth, childrearing, and the choice not to have children

As a Reproductive Freedom Congregation, First Church also affirms the following principles:

  • We trust and respect women and people who can become pregnant.
  • We promise that people who attend our congregation will be free from stigma, shame, or judgment for their reproduction decisions, including abortion.
  • We believe access to comprehensive and affordable reproductive health services is a moral and social good.

The results of our vote were not unanimous. Still, just as our desire to become a Reproductive Freedom Congregation grows out of a desire to honor the experiences of all people, it is also our intention in this faith community to hold one another in deep care and respect, even in disagreement—now and in the future.