OUR HISTORY


For more than 40 years, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) has been the sole organization bringing interfaith and multiracial voices to reproductive health, rights and justice issues.

Our member organizations represent diverse religions and theologies unified in preserving reproductive health, rights and justice as a basic principle of religious liberty and diversity.

RCRC's Origins

RCRC as it exists today evolved from an underground network of ministers and rabbis called the Clergy Consultation Service (CCS), formed in 1967, six years before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion in the United States.

In response to the deaths and injuries of women caused by unsafe abortions, this group quietly referred women to abortion providers they had researched and found to be safe. Within one year, CCS drew 1,400 members nationwide.

Many of the clergy involved had also been active in the Civil Rights Movement. They actively connected their racial justice activism to their commitment to helping women and families gain access to safe abortions.

After the 1973 Roe decision, a new group grew out of CCS. This new group, the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR), existed to safeguard the newly won constitutional right to privacy in abortion decisions.

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling, 44 national religious organizations have worked to keep abortion safe and legal. In the 1980s, the Colorado branch of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice was founded to educate and mobilize the state’s religious community to create a public opinion climate that is conducive to pro-choice policy making, and that affirms women as moral decision makers.

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OUR PURPOSE


The purpose of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, active not only in Colorado but nationwide, is to ensure that every woman is free to make decisions about when to have children according to her own conscience and religious beliefs, without government interference. The Coalition’s primary role is educating the public to make clear that abortion can be a moral, ethical and religiously responsible decision.

Our religious coalition for reproductive rights works within several faith communities in Colorado to encourage and coordinate support for freedom of choice in the matter of abortion. We:

    • Provide speakers for churches, temples, civic groups and schools.
    • Provide workshops on the abortion issue.
    • Monitor legislative and court actions related to reproductive health care and provide information to supporters and the public.
    • Testify at the Colorado State Legislature.
    • Encourage religious community lobbying efforts of state and federal representatives.
    • Provide a variety of faith-based, clergy-led counseling. For details, click here.
    • Provide referrals to reliable reproductive health clinics. For details, click here.
    • Distribute literature and educational material.

Because women of color are disproportionately affected by restrictive laws and policies, the Coalition places particular emphasis on developing broad-based participation and leadership.


CORE VALUES



OUR MISSION

The Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (CORCRC) is the primary religious voice for reproductive justice in the state. Reproductive Justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, social, and economic well-being of women and girls, based on the full achievement and protection of women’s human rights.

The reproductive justice framework espouses the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments, to safeguard bodily autonomy, and to express one’s sexuality freely. We bring the moral power of religious communities to ensure reproductive justice through education, advocacy, and pastoral care.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

We support your right to have the personal and spiritual freedom to make the choice that is consistent with your religious and ethical beliefs and we believe in your ability to make decisions which are in keeping with God’s loving intention for your life.

We also support your need for free and confidential counseling within your own faith tradition.

We hold in high respect the value of potential human life. We do not take the question of abortion lightly. Because each denomination and faith group represented among us approaches the issue of abortion from the unique position of its own theology, members hold widely varying viewpoints as to when abortion is morally justified.

It is exactly this plurality of beliefs which leads us to the conviction that the abortion decision must remain with the individual, to be made on the basis of conscience and personal religious principals.


BOARD OF TRUSTEES


Sen. Betty Boyd

President

Born and raised in Connecticut, Betty Boyd received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Upsala College in East Orange, NJ, an institution of the Lutheran Church in America. She did graduate work in Psychology and Social Work at Fairfield University (CT).

Betty and her family moved to Colorado in 1974 and she became active in the Lakewood Community and in the faith community. She has held congregational, synodical, and national leadership positions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Lutheran Church Women in the Lutheran Church in America (a predecessor church body to the ELCA). She co-chaired the transition team for the Rocky Mountain Synod when the ELCA was created through a three church body merger in 1988.


Rev. Gregory Garland

Vice President

Rev. Gregory Garland is a Colorado native, a graduate of Metro State University, and Iliff Seminary. He also did post-Graduate work at Claremont Graduate University. He is a minister in the United Church of Christ and currently serving at the United Church of Broomfield where has served since 1998. He previously served the Conference staff of the S.Calf. / Nevada Conference of the UCC, as Executive Director of the Westside Interfaith Association and served three other churches before coming to Broomfield. He has served on the Colorado RCRC since 2006 and was the 2015 recipient of the CORCRC Faith and Freedom award. He enjoys guitar, reading, skiing, biking, hiking, running, traveling and camping.


Trudy Brown

Treasurer

I earned a BS in Business Administration from San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. I was a Massage Therapist for 10 years before retiring to follow my dreams of aiding in Reproductive Rights/Justice.

Currently I am on the boards of The Freedom Fund (which assists low-income women with funding for their choice of an abortion), the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, where I am treasurer. I also participate in the loosely based Colorado Reproductive Freedom Coalition. which includes representatives from PPRM, NARAL, COLOR, ACLU, League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women. This group annually celebrates the Roe v. Wade decision and presents a Lobby Day to the legislature updating participants on any legislation that would help or hinder women in the free expression of their reproductive rights.


Joyce Lisbin

Executive Director

Dr. Lisbin has been in the field of health education and communications for over 35 years. She continues to combine the fundamentals of public health philosophy with her non-profit administrative experience.

As the Coordinator of Health Communications at the STD Control Branch, California Department of Public Health, she created a statewide database of locally developed educational and promotional materials, conducted a wide variety of trainings, produced health promotion campaigns for the Branch, and provided social marketing technical assistance to local health jurisdictions.

Dr. Lisbin has been an Executive Director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate, taught at several universities and has worked in Kenya and Sri Lanka focusing on sexual health and violence prevention. She is the co-founder of Pando Health Resources, the producer of the educational app called SmartSex™.


Rabbi Birdie Becker

Secretary

Rabbi Birdie Becker has been a Jewish educator and performer for over 40 years. Rabbi of Temple Emanuel, Pueblo, she works with numerous congregations throughout Colorado and is president of the Rocky Mountain Cantors Association. Innovator of teaching techniques, she is the author of Conversations at the Well: Where Modern Life and Ancient Stories Meet. As a medical social worker, she is experienced in hospice and psychiatric social work. Becker also served as Ohio State Consultant for Volunteer Services.


Michelle Sheehy

Michelle Sheehy joined the CORCRC Board in 2014. She is a Colorado native and upon completing her degree in Philosophy she took off for Los Angeles where she received her MA in Bioethics. She has a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health. Michelle is Co-Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, coordinating and organizing events. She’s a strong advocate for birth-control and access to sexual and reproductive health services. She currently is working at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains as a Clinical Research Assistant. She enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.


Gina Harvey

Gina Harvey, M.M, M.Div, is a Member in Discernment in the United Church of Christ tradition. She is a recent graduate of Iliff School of Theology where she received her Masters of Divinity with a certificate in Pastoral and Spiritual Care. Gina is currently finishing a chaplain residency program in Metro Denver and serving the congregation at Mayflower Congregational Church as music director and ministry assistant. Before answering her call to ministry, Gina had a career in music performance and education. Gina lives in Westminster, CO with her 16-year old daughter Sofie and her partner, Dee.

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Marcia Helfant

Marcia Helfant currently serves as CO. State Policy Advocate for the National Council of Jewish Women, a grassroots social justice organization that emphasize the quality of life issues for women, children and families.

Growing up in New York City, and living in Philadelphia for many years, Marcia received a B.A. degree from Queens College, the City University of New York, with a major in history; and an M.A. degree in Political Science from Hunter College, the City University of New York. After teaching history in New York City Public High Schools for 9 years, Marcia left to raise a family.


Rev. Dr. Valerie L. Jackson

Valerie L. Jackson is the senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Aurora, Colorado. She also serves the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) via the Commission on The Status and Role of Women, The Ethical Education Task Force, and The District Superintendent’s Committee. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from the Iliff School of Theology with research in Homiletics, Womanist Theology, and Black Church Studies. The project title is A Critical Analysis of Preaching in the National Baptist Convention, USA, Incorporated: The Socio-Cultural and Existential Reality of Women.


Reverand Katie Kandarian Morris

The Reverend Katie Kandarian-Morris is a Unitarian Universalist minister currently serving the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango, which recently received national recognition as a Breakthrough Congregation. She served a San Francisco Bay Area church for fifteen years prior to returning to Colorado. She received an M.Div. from Iliff School of Theology and a B.A. from Michigan State University. She serves on a grant panel funding social justice projects, is a yoga practitioner, and a sports fan. Her dedication to reproductive justice has been a life-long commitment.


Gregory Movesian

Gregory Movesian is the Deputy Director for Development, Marketing and Communications of the Denver Scholarship Foundation as of May 4, 2015.

Greg served as Canon Steward of Saint John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, Colorado for nine years, from 2002 until joining Girl Scouts in 2011. Greg has been a fund development professional for 30 years, having begun his career as a fundraising consultant in 1984 with the Martin J. Moran Co. in New York City. In the 1990s he worked with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. In recent years, he has served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement of The Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and Chief Development Officer for Girl Scouts of Colorado as a member of their senior management team.


Rev. Dr. Stephan Papa

Rev. Dr. Stephan Papa is a Unitarian Universalist minister; he served the First Universalist Church in Denver from 1982-2001; in 1984 with Dorotha Howe, he started the Freedom Fund, which provides financial assistance to women choosing to have an abortion. Stephan has served on the CORCRC Board for many years. He has a BS in Education, a Masters, and a Doctor of Ministry degree. He has served five congregations in different parts of the country and worked for the Unitarian Universalist Association. After forty years in the professional ministry he has retired and lives in Denver with his wife Patty Prevost.


Joelle Takahashi

Michelle Sheehy joined the CORCRC Board in 2014. She is a Colorado native and upon completing her degree in Philosophy she took off for Los Angeles where she received her MA in Bioethics. She has a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health. Michelle is Co-Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, coordinating and organizing events. She’s a strong advocate for birth-control and access to sexual and reproductive health services. She currently is working at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains as a Clinical Research Assistant. She enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.


Savita Ginde

Dr. Savita Ginde currently serves as VP/Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains `{`PPRM`}`. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, completed medical school in the British West Indies, and then went on to complete residency training in Family Medicine at Dartmouth. Following residency, she went on to complete the Fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Rochester. After Fellowship training, Savita moved to Colorado and took her position with PPRM.


Amy Hill

Michelle Sheehy joined the CORCRC Board in 2014. She is a Colorado native and upon completing her degree in Philosophy she took off for Los Angeles where she received her MA in Bioethics. She has a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health. Michelle is Co-Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, coordinating and organizing events. She’s a strong advocate for birth-control and access to sexual and reproductive health services. She currently is working at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains as a Clinical Research Assistant. She enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.


Taylor Soderborg

Taylor Soderborg is a 5th year joint MD/PhD student in the Medical Scientist Training Program at University of Colorado. Her current research focuses on the role of the early infant gut microbiome in metabolic disease risk. She plans to become an Ob/Gyn physician. Taylor was raised in San Francisco, California and attended Oberlin College where she graduated with high honors in Neuroscience.
Taylor is currently one of the steering committee leaders for Medical Students for Choice interest group which works to promote awareness of and engagement in topics related to women’s reproductive justice.



CORCRC VOICES


Volunteering for CORCRC was such an enriching experience for my life. So often our World tries to paint itself in black and white. CORCRC shows us the color and helps bridge the gap between each side of the conversation. It is incredibly important that we support and build more bridges in our communities. CORCRC offers us all an opportunity to be part of that construction.

Testimonial Devon James
Devon James
Volunteer

Thank you my second and great family. I was not sure to join in but eveything was so friendly and still is.

Testimonial