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Radical Women hosted stirring discussion on women's rights
Radical Women hosted stirring discussion on women's rights
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN Staff Writer

There's nothing like a discussion about reproductive rights and the current administration's fight against Roe v. Wade to spark a lively discussion, and that's exactly what happened last Thursday (January 17) at New Freeway Hall when a program focusing on the issues was hosted by Radical Women. "The Militant Roots of the Fight for Reproductive Justice" featured Mary Ann Curtis, member of Radical Women and one of the leaders of the Clinica Eva Defense Committee in El Monte, California when that clinic was being targeted and attacked by Operation Rescue anti-abortionists in the mid-'80s.

Curtis discussed how working with a diverse group of activists, including Gay and Lesbian groups and African American women's groups, provided a strong support base to stand against Operation Rescue's right-wing tactics of intimidation and even arson threats. She also discussed how similar tactics by activists in Washington state defeated attempts by the right wing to overthrow Roe v. Wade, and brought legislation forward which gave access to family planning to more poor and working class women.

Also discussed were how divisions between the more radical, activist communities and organized left-wing groups like NOW and NARAL made defending the Everett Feminist Health Clinic from firebombings and threats by anti-abortion groups harder. She made note that these two groups often counted on standard political means to work through the system, rather than using more grassroots and radical means, which have proven more effective in the past.

After Curtis' presentation, there was a lively discussion by audience members in which women and men gave personal accounts of having dealt with groups of anti-abortionists, and some talked of how they were glad for activists like Curtis, and the effort she and others had made to preserve a woman's right to her own body. There was also a delicious dinner and raffle, which some lucky audience members won prizes with a message, like a book on women working with women from Radical Women's bookstore. For more information on upcoming events, call: 206-722-6 057, or go to www.radicalwomen.org.
 

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