When Coloradoans voted to deny Medicaid funding for abortions in 1984, Dorotha Randall Howe founded the Freedom Fund, a local program that helps poor women pay for the medical procedure. The fund, which is maintained by the First Universalist Church of Denver, aids more than 100 women a year.
As the owner of Abortion Information and Referral, Howe also spent a decade counseling thousands of women on their family planning options. For her many years of service to the community, she received the Faith and Freedom Award from the Colorado chapter of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in 1988, and the Clara Barton Award in 1997 from the Unitarian-Universalist Women’s Federation.
“She did abortion counseling before abortion was legal. She wasn’t a flag-waver, but she always was a feminist and was very interested in women’s issues,” said her daughter, Judith Howe Klopfer.
Howe died on Jan. 1. Cause of death was not released. She was 86.