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Monday, December 9, 2013

Report on "Emergency Strategy Meeting to Preserve Abortion"

Report on "Emergency Strategy Meeting to Preserve Abortion"

By Carol Downer

The meeting was a success. Four of us, all veteran abortion right activists, introduced our work to each other, exchanged experiences and information and discussed a wide array of tactics.  We all agreed that the future of legal abortion has never been more in peril.  We also agreed that while the pro-choice legal team around the country are doing a great job, now is the time for women and women’s rights supporters to swell the ranks of the existing abortion rights organizations and a grass-roots movement needs to arise if we’re going to win. 

We set a date and time for the next meeting of like-minded people.  For now, this meeting will be called the Unfinished Battle Discussion Group, referring to the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision at a time when the size of the abortion rights movement was exploding in size and picking up steam.  Roe v. Wade pulled the rug out from under this movement; we shifted our efforts into opening clinics and working on other women’s issues.

For now, the next meeting will be at the same place on Saturday, December 14, at 2:00pm.  See Facebook Event Page.

We decided that since the need to get organized is urgent, the ongoing-meetings will take place every two weeks. However, members do not need to come to each meeting.  We will keep everyone posted on the group’s progress.

Topics of Discussion and Reports
  1. The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride Report of their month-long (July and August 2013) tour through 15 states nearly 10,000 miles, 2 dozen people caravanned, and hundreds rallied.  They found the clinics under siege.  They concluded that a new pro-reproductive rights offensive is needed that goes beyond using the electoral system to bring change.  This 55 page, bound report is available for $10.00 or read online at  
  2. A report of the rally held at Hogue Hospital in Newport Beach held to protest the stopping of abortion procedures when Covenant, a Catholic corporation, bought it.  We discussed doctor’s and hospital’s attitude toward doing abortion procedures, and we learned that the doctors at the rally are outraged that someone has come between them and their patients. 
  3.  I shared the rough draft of the article I am writing, “ARISE, YE MASSES OF WOMEN; OUR CLINICS ARE BEING SHUT DOWN! THIS IS THE TIME TO FINISH THE FIGHT THAT WE STARTED 45 YEARS AGO!”  I reminded people that the reason that abortions are done in clinics is because the existing medical establishment refused to do them.  One suggestion I had was that we could start our own hospital.
  4. Feedback on this article from veteran clinic administrators who have picketers every clinic day, but strong community support is that although the legal strategy is not working, the problem is not the doctors; we should choose strategies which focus on the anti’s and their effect.  Their experience is that hospitals and medical societies have decided to coexist with the abortion clinics in their community.
  5.  We have a beginning list of websites of over 50 pro-choice organizations.  If you would like this list, or the hyperlinks for current articles about the court cases challenging various states’ new anti-abortion laws, you can e-mail us at and we will e-mail it to you.
NOTE: If you know of a calendar showing upcoming dates of hearings or other events around the many court cases throughout the country, please let us know how to access it.


Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 2PM
2250 Fair Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90041
Text message: 323 547 4119

Details: Open bi-weekly meetings to discuss news, strategy, and tactics. RSVP via text message if you’re coming. Or online at