UUs Turn Out Big for Interfaith Reproductive Justice Event

January 22nd, 2024 marked the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which once guaranteed a woman’s right to abortion. Unfortunately that right was tragically taken away in the Dobbs Decision in June of 2022 by the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court. This decision returned to the states the right to pass abortion control bills. That was a horrific step backward for women’s right to bodily autonomy and control of their lives.
In Raleigh this year on Jan. 22nd, there was an historic and spirited Reproductive Justice Rally and Media Conference lead by Interfaith spiritual leaders, held in the Bicentennial Plaza, across from the NC General Assembly building. The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU took the lead in initiating the idea, organizing the Rally, and by providing two UU speakers – Rev. Lisa Garcia-Sampson and Melva Fager Okun. They were joined by 8 other religious leaders – including rabbis and ministers from several denominations. Here is a link to the full media conference with speeches by dynamic religious leaders.

Melva Fager Okun speaking at 1/22’s Interfaith Reproductive Justice Event in Raleigh.


The Community Church organized a bus to the event and helped underwrite the cost. The bus transported 56 Rally participants from Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Pittsboro, including ministers and rabbis. Riders enthusiastically sang their way to Raleigh. Five ministers from the Community Church attended the rally, including Rev. Thom Belotte, Rev. Alison Eskildsen, Rev. Jenn Kapranov, Rev. Ruth Gibson, and Rev. Lisa Garcia Sampson. Proudly enough, the Community Church sent the largest number of attendees to the Rally from all the congregations in the Triangle Interfaith Reproductive Justice Coalition. The Coalition helped organize their congregations to attend. ERUUF and the UU Raleigh Fellowship also attended the Rally and are members of the Triangle Interfaith Reproductive Justice Coalition.
Blog written by UU Justice NC’s Reproductive Justice Lead- Melva Fager Okun. If your UU congregation is interested in learning more about joining the Interfaith Reproductive Justice Coalition, please contact melvafokun@gmail.com.