USA – People Helping Women Get Abortions Pre-Roe Were Heroes. It Wasn’t Enough.

Stories like the Rev. Robert Hare’s are incredibly moving. But what we need is for abortion to be legal.

JUNE 21, 2022

She was a 23-year-old white unmarried schoolteacher. She was also pregnant, and she would inevitably be fired from her teaching job when her employers found out. It was April 1969, elective abortion was illegal in Ohio, and unwed motherhood was a source of great shame.

Desperate, the young schoolteacher reached out for help to a recently formed religious organization, the Cleveland Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion. The Plain Dealer, one of Cleveland’s major newspapers, had spotlighted the CCCSA, as did a slew of other news outlets across Ohio and the United States. Through these laudatory stories, Ohioans heard a startling announcement: an ecumenical group of local Protestant and Jewish clergy had announced that it was their “pastoral responsibility [to] give aid and assistance to women with problem pregnancies,” and promised to help them find an abortion, even if that meant breaking the law.