On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, the Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) hosted an annual discussion “Pro-Faith, Pro-Choice!” This year’s speaker was Reverend Madion Schockley who is the Pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, California, a member of the San Diego ALCU Board, and national author.
During the event, Reverend Schockley sparked an animated discussion that emphasized the need to continue the dialogue on the sensitive topic of choice. “To make a free choice one has to be free of the stigma that is attached to having an abortion, to being pregnant, for being sexual...that is the work that lies ahead of us,” Reverend Schockley stated, describing the ways in which society has regulated choice outside the law. “We have to start thinking about it in a more holistic way, because it is an issue that impacts all of us.”
Aided by Professor Joy Delman, TJSL is in the forefront of reproductive rights education as the only law school in San Diego to offer a course on the subject. As the faculty advisor for LSRJ, Delman said, “Reverend Shockley inspired the audience to consider reproductive justice as a faith based imperative, grounded on Constitutional principles of every person’s right to believe, worship, and act in ways that are best for that individual. He stressed that reproductive rights are not only women’s rights, but are the fundamental human rights of men and women to make informed decisions about medical care and family planning, with the concomitant need for access for all to health care. Those in attendance were clearly stimulated by Reverend Shockley’s message, and his presentation ended with a thought provoking discussion that was both engrossing and enlightening.”
The event attracted many students, with varying viewpoints who were able to ask Reverend Schockley questions. “I completely agree with the Reverend that this subject, although focused on women's rights, should consist of an open dialogue with both women and men,” said vice-president of the Family Law Society and secretary of the Women’s Law Association, 2L Janate Valenzuela.
“LSRJ's event was interesting,” said 3L Jarvis Curry. “Reverend Madison Shockley skillfully outlined his perspective of the role of religion as an influence on reproductive rights.”