A Message from Susan Brownmiller to the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride—Read at Abortion Rights Rally, August 17, 2013 in Jackson, MS

September 3, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Revcom.us wants to share with its readers a variety of voices that are making important contributions in the struggle for abortion rights. Susan Brownmiller has given permission to revcom.us to reprint this statement.

Susan Brownmiller is the author of Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape and In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution.


Greetings to the Abortion Caravan in Jackson. I am a survivor of three illegal abortions in 1960s, for which I needed to travel to Cuba and Puerto Rico because Roe v. Wade, the great Supreme Court ruling that affirmed women’s rights, did not become the law of the land until the following decade.

Honor your feminist predecessors who led the fight for legalization. Honor their speakouts and disruptions of legislative hearings in those militant years. Honor their slogans “Abortion is a women’s right” and “Free Abortion on Demand” that you have resurrected today.

Honor Nancy Stearns, who devised the strategy of class-action lawsuits in 30 states with thousands of complainants.

Honor the Chicago activists who called themselves “Jane” and began performing abortions themselves.

Honor the Los Angeles activists Carol Downer and Lorraine Rothman who perfected a vacuum aspiration technique they called “menstrual extraction”.

Honor the Women’s Liberation Center of Austin, Texas that reached out to two young Texas lawyers, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee. Honor Weddington and Coffee who filed the single-plaintiff suit, Roe v. Wade, that the Supreme Court finally ruled on in January 1973, in a 7 to 2 decision.

You are standing on the shoulders of remarkable women who never expected their amazing work could become undone a few decades later by evil coalitions of reactionary forces. The battle is now yours to fight and win again.

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