USA – Unhelpful Arguments That Downplay the Importance of Abortion on Demand

Book excerpt: Unhelpful Arguments That Downplay the Importance of Abortion on Demand

Jenny Brown
Sept 30, 2019

The first shot in the feminist abortion wars was fired in 1969 in a New York City Health Department auditorium, where a panel of male psychologists, doctors, clergy, and lawyers (and one woman, a Sister Mary Patricia) debated exceptions to New York’s law forbidding abortion. They were discussing whether a woman should be allowed to have an abortion if her health was in danger, or if she had been raped, or if she had already given birth to four children.

A shout came up from a woman in the audience: “Now let’s hear from the real experts on abortion!” Then, “Repeal the abortion law, instead of wasting more time talking about these stupid reforms!” Then, “We’ve waited and waited while you have held one hearing after another. Meanwhile, the baby I didn’t want is two years old!” More women stood to object and testify. “Why are fourteen men and only one woman on your list of speakers—and she a nun?” The committee members “stared over their microphones in amazement,” wrote Edith Evans Asbury in the New York Times. The chair tried to shush the women, arguing that everyone was really on the same side: “You’re only hurting your own case.”


U.S.: How a Harrowing Photo of One Woman’s Death Became an Iconic Pro-Choice Symbol

How a Harrowing Photo of One Woman's Death Became an Iconic Pro-Choice Symbol
by Amanda Arnold
100 years
Oct 26 2016

In 1973, Ms. magazine published a haunting photo of a woman named Gerri Santoro, who'd died of a back-alley abortion. At the time, no one could have predicted what an impact it would have on the pro-choice movement, or how many decades later we would still be fighting to keep women from having to seek out illegal procedures.

People knew of Geraldine "Gerri" Santoro's cause of death—an air embolism caused by a back-alley abortion—before they ever knew her name.

On June 8, 1964, the 28-year-old married woman and her lover, Clyde Dixon, checked into Connecticut's now-closed Norwich Motel with no vacation suitcases or change of clothes for an overnight stay. Instead, she brought a catheter and a textbook. Santoro, six and a half months pregnant, was prepared to let Dixon perform her illegal abortion—that is, until she started hemorrhaging during the process and Dixon panicked, abandoning Santoro to bleed to death on the motel floor.

Continued at source: Broadly/Vice: