Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

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The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) was founded in 1973 by clergy and lay leaders in an effort to provide interfaith support for abortion rights. In 1993, the original name - the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR) - was changed to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The Coalition is an accredited non-governmental organization with the United Nations Department of Public Information.[1]


In 2009, the following worked for the Coalition:[2]

Board of Directors

Executive Committee:

  • Carol Blowers, Chair - Director of Government Affairs, Family Planning Advocates of NY State
  • F. Alexis Roberson, Vice Chair - President and CEO, Opportunities, Industrialization Center of DC
  • Richard Simms, Treasurer - Executive Director, DC Center for Independent Living
  • Lloyd Steffen, Secretary - University Chaplain, Professor and Dept. Chair, Ethics; Dept. of Religion Studies, Lehigh University
  • Ann Hanson, Chair of the Council of Governors - United Church of Christ, Justice & Witness Ministries
  • Reverend Loey Powell, Immediate Past Chair of the Board - United Church of Christ, Justice & Witness Ministries
  • Dr. Reverend Carlton W. Veazey, President and CEO (ex officio) - Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice


Council of Governors



Executive Department:

Other Staff:



Black Church Initiative

The Black Church Initiative (BCI), begun in 1997, is RCRC’s effort to educate African-American religious communities about abortion and sexuality. It is an extension of commitments already evident in RCRC’s Women of Color Partnership, which in 1996 had published a brochure entitled "Black Ministers Support your Right to Choose." A large donation from the Ford Foundation in 2000 enabled RCRC to work toward shedding "its image as a coalition of primarily liberal white Protestants" by advocating acceptance of sexuality options (including homosexual and bisexual behavior) and "safe sex" education programs within the black church. RCRC employed these funds to host the National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality in July 2000. Among the speakers at this summit was former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who said at the conference that condoms may break, "but I can assure you, the vows of abstinence break far more easily than any condom." A parallel "Iniciativa Latina" ("Latina/Hispanic Initiative") has now been started.[3]

Member Organizations

As at May, 2015, the following were member organizations of the Coalition:[4]



The following made donations to the Coalition in 2009:[2]


$2,500 and up:

$1,000 - $2,499:

$500 - $999:

$200 - $499:


Gifts of Estate

The following named the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in their will, trust, or other planned gift. The Coalition honored them by naming them members of the Jim Barrett Memorial Society:[2]

* indicates deceased


In 2007, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice received $52,968 from the Tides Foundation.[5]

Contact Details


  1. United Methodist Church: Support for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, 2004 (accessed on Sep. 13, 2012)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 RCRC: 2009 Annual Report
  3. Holy Abortion? A Theological Critique of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, by Michael J. Gorman and Ann Loar Brooks
  4. RCRC: Coalition Members] (accessed on May 18, 2015)
  5. Tides Foundation Income Tax Exemption Form 990 2007