A woman’s right to choose to be pregnant–or not–has has never been as threatened. A bogus investigation of Planned Parenthood is taking place in Congress and clinics across the country are being shuttered on any and every pretext.
On Thursday, November 5, 9-11 PM, Joy of Resistance will help to part the curtain of lies with the award-winning DVD “I Had an Abortion” by Gillian Aldritch and Jennifer Baumgartner. Cutting across race, age, class and religion, ten women face the camera and talk about their experiences of having an abortion during different eras and in different places and circumstances.
The film begins with Florence Rice, a Harlem, New York City woman who had an abortion in 1938 when both abortion and birth control were illegal. After the abortion she was pressured by nurses at Harlem Hospital to divulge the name of the doctor who had performed the abortion so that he could be prosecuted for his “crime” (which she would not do), under threat that she might, herself, have to face criminal charges.
We then hear women who had abortions in the 60’s, 70’s, 90’s and 2000’s speak about them. They include well known feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Loretta Ross, as well as less famous women, like Alex Cobarrubia, a Mexican American woman from a heavily Catholic background who could not tell her mother, A’yen Tran (pictured above) who, after her abortion became a pro-choice activist; Jenny Egan, from a Mormon family, who found that by speaking out she could heal her pain and isolation (a common experience for those who speak about their abortions). The film ends with a quite large group of women who all state that they have had an abortion. More than 1.3 million women have an abortion each year in the U.S. For most of them it’s still a secret.
We’ll also offer listeners an audio CD of gems from the collection of Joy of Resistance’s coverage on this issue. These will include: clips from the very first speak-out on abortion, organized by Redstockings, in 1969, when abortion was illegal and women risked arrest to claim their experience publicly; Loretta Ross co-founder of SisterSong: A Woman of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, on family-planning in the Black community from the Civil War until today; an interview with RHrealitycheck investigative reporter Teddy Wilson on the backgrounds of those who put together the doctored video later used as a basis to investigate Planned Parenthood–and the late great radical feminist Ros Baxandall comparing guilt and shame about abortion in the 1970’s and now. Plus music of the abortion rights movement.
Last but not least, this program we will include a live interview with Loretta Ross, speaking on abortion within the framework of Reproductive Justice and anti abortion terrorism in relation to the rest of the far right.
The DVD “I Had an Abortion” will be offered as a “thank you” gift to those pledging $50. to WBAI to keep listener-supported non-commercial radio on the air. The CD of Joy of Resistance “best of” abortion-rights coverage will be offered to listeners for a pledge of $25.
WBAI is a free speech radio station that maintains its independence through listener support and accepts no corporate funding. It is one of the 5-station listener-supported Pacifica Radio Network that has been broadcasting progressive alternative radio for over 60 years. Please help keep it alive by going to give2wbai.org and finding out how you can become a supporter. When you pledge during Joy of Resistance, you are also showing your support for the continuation of feminist radio at WBAI.