Joy of Resistance to offer package of rare historical material for 40th Anniversary year of Roe v Wade

Joy of Resistance is very proud to be able to offer as a premium for the WBAI Radio Winter Fund Drive, a 3-part “40th Anniversary of Roe v Wade Package.” It is a hand-picked multi-media collection of historical materials on the Abortion Rights movement in the U.S., from its beginnings to the present! You are going to want to have this for your history library and use it for its activist lessons–and to understand the origins of the rights we’ve won and also how we can defend and expand them. This collection is entertaining as well as serious. It includes theater, music of the reproductive rights movement (some of it quite funny), a DVD, a book  and recordings of the best of Joy of Resistance’ coverage of reproductive rights..The parts can be ordered separately or as one package.

THIS JUST IN: Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner,* Exectutive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation and one of the first women to recieve a Doctorate in Women’s Studies (1978) has sent me the following message in response to my letting her know about this package: “This is just an historic treasure; should be in every library! Thank you for doing it!”

We will be offering this collection as a thank-you for supporting WBAI (listener supported radio) on Wednesday, February 20, between 9 & 11 PM on WBAI at 99.5 FM (in the New York Area) and on (streaming live on the web). And…your pledge for this material will count as a vote for the continuation of feminist programming at our station!

If there were no other reason to get this package, owning recordings and/or visuals of Ellen Willis, Kathy Sarachild, Rhonda Copelon, Flo Kennedy, Cindy Cisler, and other not-well-enough known pioneers of our movement–would be enough, as this rare footage is hard to come by–but…there is a lot more in this package. Here’s a summary of the 3 parts and what’s in it:

1)  A DVD of Lori Hiris’ feminist classic film, “With a Vengeance: The Fight for Reproductive Freedom” (used by National Women’s Liberation in its annual class on radical feminism). This DVD includes:

* Rare footage & interviews with early movement pioneers such as Cindy Cisler, Pat Maginness, Flo Kennedy, Kathie Sarachild, Carol Downer, Dr. Ben Munson, “Jane,” Lawrence Lader and more…

* Rare footage from the Redstockings 1969 first Abortion Speakout, where women risked arrest to speak about their then-illegal abortions with testimony by Irene Peslikis & others. Contains footage of the 1969 Miss America Pageant Protest (one of the earliest Women’s Liberation actions).

* Footage from a 1989 gathering of Black feminists in Washington, DC–and their speak-out–with Loretta Ross, Billye Avery and others–that contributed to laying the conceptual framework for what would later become the Black woman-led Reproductive Justice Movement

* Footage of the huge 1989 Washington, DC, abortion rights march/rally w/shots of everyone from Betty Friedan to Margarita Lopez; interviews with Randall Terry,  street clashes between Operation Rescue and abortion rights activists, as well as footage of the “official speakers” including Whoopi Goldberg, Estella Vasquez–and singing by Holly Near.

* The film is in an exciting “avant garde” style of 60’s cinema (although made in the late 80’s) and film maker Lori Hiris has said she was influenced by documentary film-maker Emile D’Antonio (“Point of Order”).

2)  A long playing MP3 CD of “The Best of” Joy of Resistance’ Coverage of the Reproductive Rights Movement.” I’ve gone all out to pack it with some of the best programming we’ve done on this subject, during almost 11 years of programming. It Includes:

* Substantial speeches by Ellen Willis (1977), Rhonda Copelon (1977 & 2008), Dr. Jocelyn Elders (at the 2007 SisterSong: A Woman of Color Reproductive Justice Collective Conference).

* An interview with Loretta Ross on the history of attitudes toward abortion and birth control in the Black community–from slavery through the Garvey-ite period, more recent nationalist trends, the Black Panthers–and more

* An ENTIRE PERFORMANCE of the play “Words of Choice” which has toured the U.S. for a number of years (created/produced by Cindy Cooper), as recorded at the studios of WBAI in 2008.  It includes interviews with the cast on the reactions they got to the play in anti-abortion parts of the country. Introductory  material includes additional recordings from the 1969 Redstockings abortion speakout, Roz Baxandall‘s 1989 testimony about her 1960’s abortion–and her recent observation on the attitudes toward abortion that she sees in the college students she teaches today.

* Music of the Reproductive Rights Movement–at least 10 songs (!) include: The New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band’s 1972 “Abortion Song”, a song by Kurt Weill/Hanns Eisler, Sandy Rapp’s “Remember Rose” (about the first woman to die of an illegal abortion after the Hyde Amendment), Loretta Lynne’s “The Pill”, Pete Seeger’s “The Pill” (different song from Loretta’s) as well as some extremely funny songs: “Hands off my Clams” by Lisa Koch, “Every Sperm Does Not Deserve a Name” by Stone Soup and “This Womb is My Womb” by The Church Ladies for Choice– and more!!!!

* The first-ever Joy of Resistance show (June, 2002) with interviews of Faye Wattleton (First  Black woman President of Planned Parenthood) and Frances Kissling (President of Catholics for a Free Choice). Hosted by Byllye Avery, Manijeh Saba, Fran Luck. Byllye talks about her early days after opening one of the first clinics to do abortions after the Roe decision, in Gainesville, FLA; Manijeh talks about what abortion meant to her growing up in Iran. Fran talks about how she went from being averse to abortion to seeing it as an essential right for women.

* Speeches from the Rutgers University rally leading up to the huge March for Women’s Lives (2004): includes fierce speeches by student leaders and Maretta Short on “Slavery and Abortion.” Also a speech from the “Unite to Fight the Right” rally of 2012, by Martha Plimpton.

* An original radio production entitled: “Abortion as a Human Right”: includes interviews with lawyers working in the field of International Human Rights, an abbreviated history of women’s rights and reproductive rights, 3-way conversation with Loretta Ross, Christina Page and Sunsara Taylor focusing on President Obama & reproductive rights and the current interplay of right wing terrorism and restrictive abortion laws.

* And even more–I am still finding and including more materials as I go through my files…

3) The book: “Intimate Wars” a Memoir by Merle Hoffman, in which Hoffman  tells the story of how she evolved from a young woman with great ambition but only a vague sense of what to do with her life, into the Founder and President of Choices Women’s Medical Center (Queens, NY) and a leading activist and theorist in the struggle for reproductive rights–as well as becoming a targeted (by the Right) abortion provider who has been on the front lines since 1971. Through her eyes you’ll experience the beginnings of the rise of the right wing anti-abortion movement, the too-slow recognition by feminists of the seriousness of the threat–as well as many of the critical debates within the movement. You’ll also read about the evolution of Hoffman’s philosophical beliefs on what the abortion issue is really about and how feminists can–and must–create a counter-narrative to that of the Right–if we are to win. A MUST-READ...

I hope you’ll consider owning this collection–or some part(s) of it–and adding it to your own collection of history of our movement. I don’t know of any one place where so much material has been gathered together in different media forms and made so accessible. WBAI will be aksing listeners to make a pledge of $40 for each individual part—and $100 for the entire 3-part package.

On the night of the show, you will be able to pledge by simply calling (516) 620-3602, between 9 & 11 pm (New York time) on Wednesday, February 20. If you’re not available to do it at that time, we can help you to find another way–I’ll get back to you if you leave a twitter or email address in the comment section below.

WBAI is at 99.5 FM in the middle of the FM dial, broadcasting to the tri-state area of the North East U.S.–and worldwide on the web. It can be live-streamed at

Thank you so much for supporting Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI, broadcasting cutting edge feminism since 2002.

Solidarity and warmest regards,


Fran Luck,
Executive Producer,
Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI,
99.5 FM, NYC, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 9-10 pm
(broadcasting to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut
& worldwide on the web)

* On Sally Roesch Wagner: One of the first women to receive a doctorate for work in women’s studies in the United States (UC Santa Cruz, 1978), Dr. Wagner is also a founder of one of the country’s first women’s studies programs at California State University, Sacramento (1970). A women’s studies professor for 37 years and now Executive Director of the Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York, Wagner is the nation’s foremost authority on Matilda Joslyn Gage. Wagner’s recent titles include: She Who Holds the Sky: Matilda Joslyn Gage (Sky Carrier Press, 2003); Introduction to the reprint of Matilda Joslyn Gage’s 1893 classic Woman, Church and State (Humanity Books, 2002); and Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists (Native Voices, 2001). Dr. Wagner also appeared in the Ken Burns documentary, Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.



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