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The oral reproductive and sexual herstories of Black Protestant Christian women
Abortion, Contraception
Awarded 2019
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Toni Bond, MA
Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice
$7,501

I am a womanist theo-ethicist/reproductive justice (RJ) expert whose scholarship is situated at the intersections of womanist theology and ethics and reproductive justice. I am one of the founding mothers of the RJ movement. This study examines the ways in which religious doctrine and dogma impact the reproductive decisions and sexual attitudes and behaviors of black women between 18-62 years of age within the Protestant Christian tradition. Through this research, I seek to unearth how Black Christian women have reconciled their reproductive and sexual health decisions with their understanding of the theological teachings of their respective religious institution. The primary goal of this research is three-fold: 1) to collect the reproductive and sexual herstories of Black Christian women to shed light on how they act as moral agents utilizing their moral wisdom to make decisions about their sexuality, family planning, and reproductive options, especially childbearing and abortion, 2) to mine for themes that demonstrate Black women exercising agency in making reproductive and sexual decision that are in their own best interests, even when those decisions are contrary to the theological teachings of the religious institutions where they worship, and 3) to show that when Black women exercise agency over their reproductive and sexual lives, it is a form of resistance to reproductive and sexual oppression that can ultimately lead to resiliency. Secondarily, I will be doing ethnographic observations of progressive and conservative Black churches to understand how they address human sexuality and reproduction.