September 29, 2020

Contact: Greeley O’Connor, Managing Director

Political Research Associates Publishes Strategy to Defend Reproductive Freedom: the Political Potential of an Organized Pro-Choice Religious Movement 

SOMERVILLE, MA. – Political Research Associates (PRA)—a 4-decades old national nonprofit research and strategy center that monitors and counteracts anti-democratic movements—has published a vital collection of resources–including an essay, response papers, colloquium proceedings, and a directory of pro-choice religious congregations and organizations–on how pro-choice religious communities can build influence with U.S. courts poised to take away reproductive freedom:

President Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Coney Barret, who has previously said that abortion “is always immoral” and has a clear judicial record of favoring abortion restrictions, is expected to accelerate anti-abortion efforts at every level. 

“The vast pro-choice religious community may well be the wellspring for a political transformation in a post-Roe era,” according to PRA Senior Research Analyst Frederick Clarkson. “It is not yet organized to be that wellspring — but it could be. It has the sheer numbers, deeply considered pro-choice traditions, and resilient democratically organized institutions rooted in social justice traditions that have already been transformational in U.S. history.” 

Clarkson is the author of a new report from Political Research Associates, “The Pro-Choice Religious Community May Be the Future of Reproductive Rights, Access, and Justice,” which addresses this underestimated constituency in the fight to defend reproductive freedom. 

Key findings include:

  • A majority of the religious community, including Catholics, mainline White and Black protestants, and non-Christian religious people in the United States are pro-choice,
  • The Christian Right is a well-organized minority that has achieved the heights of political power in the United States using in part, a model that could be applied to the pro-choice religious community: transdenominational Parachurches with religious missions and political organizing that operate outside of but often in cooperation with denominations.
  • The directory lists the current pro-choice and reproductive justice elements of organized religion in the United States. It is intended primarily as a resource for those seeking to support these values in light of contemporary legislative and judicial setbacks, and for those seeking fresh approaches toward a better future.  If one were looking for the pro-choice religious community in the United States, this is a rough map of where to find it.

To read more about this vision for pro-choice organizing, visit:

Read PRA’s earlier report, Playing the Long Game: How the Christian Right Built Capacity to Undo Roe State By State

To schedule an interview, please contact Greeley O’Connor via email g.oconnor[at]

Frederick Clarkson is a Senior Research Analyst with Political Research Associates and a nationally recognized expert on both the Christian Right and the Religious Left who has studied and written about religion and politics for nearly four decades. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Mother Jones, the Christian Science Monitor,, Ms. magazine, Church & State, and Religion Dispatches. 

His expertise has been sought out by major media outlets from The Guardian to the New York Times to NPR. He is the editor of Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America and author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy. His articles have been anthologized in scholarly works, most recently in Trumping Democracy in the United States from Ronald Reagan to Alt-Right. He previously served as an investigative editor for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and as the Communications Director for the Institute for Democracy Studies.