Friday, January 28, 2022
HomeWomen's HealthAbortion and Girls's Rights in 1970: A Movie

Abortion and Girls’s Rights in 1970: A Movie


screenshot from 1970 film on abortion and women's rights

By Judy Norsigian |

In these scary instances, with the Supreme Court docket poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s extra vital than ever to know the historical past of abortion and the devastating decisions ladies face after they can’t entry protected and authorized abortion care.

In 1971, when abortion was unlawful in all however a couple of states, a bunch of ladies got here collectively to make a documentary movie. The movie, the primary from the angle of ladies who had had or sought an abortion, has been restored, and final Thursday it was screened as a part of a digital fundraiser for Deliberate Parenthood of Northern New England. It’s now obtainable on YouTube, for all to see. (You could find citations for the movie right here.)

In introducing the movie final evening, Jane Pincus, one of many filmmakers and a founding member of Our Our bodies Ourselves, spoke in regards to the harrowing experiences of ladies who had unlawful abortions and the context of the instances. Her remarks are under.

We created our movie in 1970, within the early days of the ‘second wave’ of the ladies’s motion in Boston. Many people had been concerned within the civil rights and anti-war actions.  Girls who had by no means met collectively started to hitch uniquely ladies’s teams, speaking about {our relationships}, our efforts to regulate our reproductive lives, our work. We found that we shared our issues and life conditions with others; that what had appeared private and particular person was extra wide-ranging; that social, governmental and financial techniques oppressing ladies needed to be modified. The instances swept us up. We instructed our tales, felt a brand new energy and optimism. We shared the conviction that we may change the world. We stepped up our marching and demonstrating at rallies. We carried out road theater, joined in group organizing efforts and started talking out at authorities hearings.

In 1969, a public radio broadcast galvanized me after I heard the voices of ladies testifying on the State Home telling about their harrowing abortion experiences. The male legislators current within the room responded heartlessly and had no clue as to all that girls must endure. It stays an unnerving truth: When abortions are unlawful, too many ladies find yourself with an infection or so-called ‘septic abortions’ in hospitals. They are often maimed for all times, or die. This was completely unacceptable. Within the gentle of this data, within the political local weather of the instances what may we do?

In reply, six of us [Jane, Sue Jhirad, Catha Maslow, Janet MurrayMary Summers, and Karen Weinstein] met to make a movie about abortion and its place within the vary of our must determine about our reproductive lives. We needed to make public and clear the outrages stemming from ladies’s lack of selection. As soon as phrase went out about our plans, audiotapes of ladies telling their tales appeared – virtually by magic, with out our asking. We 4 newbie filmmakers had been wielding a digicam for the primary time, creating dialogue and scenes dramatized by Sue and Janet, two activist pals. We had been fortunate and grateful to have the ability to use MIT’s movie division’s modifying and entry to labs. After months and months of intense discussions as to easy methods to movie and form the footage; after trials, failures and breakthroughs, we agreed to chop the visible scenes to the soundtrack of spliced-together ladies’s tales. Lastly, all of it got here collectively. Within the midst of our busy lives, it took us a 12 months.

I’m grateful past phrases to have been a part of this endeavor with Karen, Mary, Catha, Sue and Janet, and with the men and women who contributed to our efforts.

After you watch the movie, please be a part of Our Our bodies Ourselves and assist efforts to arrange for the overturning of Roe v Wade. The Girls’s Well being Safety Act is a proposed federal legislation that might prohibit a variety of abortion restrictions, together with previability bans, state mandates of pointless procedures and inaccurate counseling, limitations to telemedicine abortion, TRAP legal guidelines, and forcing further in-person visits to a physician.

In Massachusetts, activists are working tirelessly on passing a invoice referred to as the Roe Act. There are related efforts in different states. We should do all we are able to to guard the lives and well-being of ladies and households who shall be harmed severely by the almost-certain upcoming choices of the Supreme Court docket.



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