Hundreds of UCC members will be among those participating in the National March for Women's Lives on April 25 in Washington, D.C.
Organizers say they are expecting the demonstration in support of reproductive rights to be one of the largest in more than a decade.
"Since 1973, many attempts have been made to overturn Roe vs. Wade or to modify its provisions," says the Rev. Loey Powell of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries in Cleveland. "I am coming to this march as a woman and as a Christian minister who believes that a message from people of faith who are pro-choice must be sent loudly and boldly to the American public and to the current Administration."
Powell says that reproductive rights are about more than access to abortion.
"It involves preventing unwanted pregnancies. It involves stopping the forced sterilization of poor women and women of color. It involves providing sound prenatal care to pregnant women. It involves assuring that women can be free from coercive sex," she says.
Cathy Chambers, a member of First Congregational UCC in Long Beach, Calif., who plans to attend the march, says, "I am convinced that providing legal access to abortion is the most reasonable and humane response of any society that professes an abiding respect for human life. As a member of a religious community, I feel it is important to support the proc-hoice voice."
Since 1971, the UCC's General Synod repeatedly has affirmed a woman's right to freedom of choice on abortion and has called for responsible, comprehensive human sexuality education.
The day will begin with a 10 a.m. interfaith worship service in front of the Capitol reflecting pool at Third and Constitution streets, NW. The march and rally will be held on the National Mall, starting at the Lincoln Memorial at 12 p.m.