by LYDIA LYLE GIBSON
IN 1970, when Mary Summers and three other women’s rights activists—Jane Pincus, Karen Weinstein, and Catha Maslow—made a documentary about illegal abortion, they saw it as an organizing tool for state-by-state legalization efforts. Fifty-two years later, Summers believes it may serve that role again.
Abortion and Women’s Rights 1970 synthesized the stories and experiences of several women and stated that, of the 800,000 abortions performed in that year, only one percent were obtained legally; 300,000 resulted in complications, and between 3,000 and 8,000 resulted in death. This April, the filmmakers re-released the 28-minute documentary, making it available free online.