William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


In light of recent political changes in the United States, the future of women’s health care has never been so uncertain. Using the debate on contraception access in the United States to frame the discussion, I demonstrate how religious groups and reproductive justice (RJ) activists might engage in constructive dialogue to protect women’s rights. I analyze the amicus briefs submitted on behalf of Catholic nuns and the government in Zubik v. Burwell, which illustrate that despite differences, RJ advocates and Catholic nuns have much in common—including a commitment to eradicate sex discrimination, ensure economic freedom, and protect women’s health. I propose that constructive dialogue between these two groups could bring to light the federal government’s failure to take responsibility for providing adequate health care to its citizens, thereby allowing the groups to build an alliance as they work to ensure that people in the United States have access to reproductive health care. I conclude by illustrating how the Supreme Court’s remand creates space for compassionate and constructive dialogue, which could advance the RJ movement’s aims and ensure reproductive justice for all people.