Intersections of Abortion Stigma with
Sexual and Gender Minority Stigma in Southern Faith Communities

Elizabeth Mosley1, Subasri Narasimhan1, Jessica Dozier2, Johanna Pringle1, Lasha Clarke1, John Blevins1, Kelli Komro1, Kelli Hall1, Whitney Rice1
1Emory University, 2Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Background. Engaging Faith Communities in Georgia (EnFaith) is a community-engaged, mixed methods project to promote supportive reproductive health attitudes and norms in Georgia's non-Evangelical Protestant churches.

Methods. With guidance from the EnFaith Advisory Council, we conducted 20 in-depth interviews with religious leaders. Interviews were transcribed, de-identified, and analyzed using team-based, iterative codebook development, memo-ing, and coding. Here we explore: 1) how do religious leaders describe the intersections of abortion stigma with LGBTQ topics? and 2) what are the implications of those intersections for faith-based reproductive health programs?  

Results. We identified three themes: 1) parallel judgment around abortion and LGBTQ issues, 2) tension between that judgment and ideologies of love, and 3) shared strategies for shifting church-based LGBTQ and reproductive health attitudes and norms.

Discussion. Conceptual and practical linkages between abortion stigma and stigma against sexual and gender minorities cannot be ignored in faith-based sexual and reproductive health programs.