With an anti-abortion majority on the Supreme Court, several states with only one abortion clinic, and state abortion bans making their way through the courts, many reproductive rights activists are on the defensive, hoping to hold on to abortion in a few places and cases. This spirited book shows how we can start winning again.
Without Apology uncovers a century of legal abortion in the U.S.—until 1873—why a century of illegal abortion followed, and how the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s really won abortion rights. Drawing inspiration and lessons from that radical movement, the recent successful fight to make the morning-after pill available over the counter in the U.S., and the mass movement to repeal Ireland's abortion ban, Without Apology is an indispensable guide for organizers today.
Publisher's Weekly calls Without Apology a "laser focused polemic." Amelia Bonow of Shout Your Abortion says, "Without Apology manages to make perfect sense of the current political moment." Nona Willis Aronowitz says, "Without Apology draws an exhilarating line in the sand between reformers and visionaries, between near-sighted regulation and true reproductive freedom."
Where will the money go?
It’s not enough to have a book sit on a shelf. We aim to use the lessons from our radical feminist history, movement experience and apply our current analysis to put the movement for reproductive freedom on a radical basis again—meaning that we intend to get to the root of the problem.
We’re raising money to create a study guide and to take our ideas on the road. We want women to get together to talk about the ideas in the book and what are the next steps for effective organization and mobilization to expand reproductive liberty. Our Abortion Without Apology Study and Action Guide will help organizers create consciousness-raising groups and plan actions like abortion speak-outs, pickets to expose fake (anti-abortion) clinics, and strategic civil disobedience.
We’re also organizing speaking engagements in fifteen cities. The money will go toward travel expenses for the book’s author and other organizers. We've already been invited to speak in Athens, Georgia; Atlanta; Asheville; Berkeley; Chapel Hill; Chicago; Gainesville, Florida; Oakland; Seattle, and San Diego. Contact us to have an event in your town! (womensliberation.org). Help us build a new radical strategy to advance abortion rights and reproductive freedom.
Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now
1. Abortion: The Basics…15
Who gets abortions?...19
Why do they get abortions?...23
Feelings about abortion…27
Why was abortion outlawed in the first place?...31
Abortion in the illegal days…42
Obstacles to abortion since Roe v. Wade…57
Why is abortion under attack now?...71
3. Ideas and Analysis
From offense to defense…83
Making the radicals invisible…96
Making the movement respectable…105
Reproductive justice confronts neoliberal feminism…119
Power in women’s hands: Jane and the Women’s Self-help Clinic…129
New technologies, new strategies: The abortion pill…139
Going for what we want: Lessons from the morning-after pill struggle 151
Build from women’s experience: Repeal comes to Ireland 159
A Women’s Liberation strategy 172
In addition to the book, Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now signed by the author (208 pages, published by Verso, see cover above), backers at levels $20 and above will receive a brand new “Abortion Without Apology” button designed just for Kickstarter backers.
Backers at levels of $35 and above will receive, along with the book, an Abortion Without Apology Study and Action Guide and a collection of radical feminist buttons and stickers from the National Women's Liberation, the Redstockings archives, and Shout Your Abortion.
Backers at levels $50 and above will also receive a copy of Shout Your Abortion, the first ever coffee table abortion book, full of testimonies, interviews, defiance, art and inspiration. That's in addition to Without Apology, the button & sticker pack, and the study and action guide.
What is National Women's Liberation?
National Women’s Liberation is a feminist group for women who want to fight back against male supremacy and win more freedom for women.
We are perhaps most known for leading the grassroots fight to make the morning after pill (now sold as Plan B One-Step) available over the counter in the United States, using speakouts, grassroots pressure, testifying at government hearings about our own experience, and violating the prescription requirement by publicly distributing the pill. We also sued the FDA. We refused to settle for half measures and finally won in 2013, making sure the pill would be available to people of all ages without presenting ID. Lessons from this fight are recounted in Without Apology.
We believe that change comes about from the actions of everyday people—not politicians, the courts, lobbyists, or the media. The freedoms we have now were won by movements of women, organizing and fighting for change. Men did not become less sexist or decide to give women the vote or legalize birth control because of our individual abilities to reason with them, educate them, or because they love us so much. The inequalities between women and men are political problems that require a collective solution.
We aim to build an organization of feminist organizers to bring new fire to the fight for our liberation. We are funded by the dues of women, not corporations or their foundations.
We study and address how racism and white supremacy are barriers to Women’s Liberation, and we understand that the leadership and participation of women of color is critical to the success of the women’s liberation movement. In our Women of Color Caucus, women of color meet separately from white women to better understand how white supremacy intersects with other forms of oppression.
National Women's Liberation comes from a collaboration between organizers from Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement (NY) and Gainesville (FL) Women’s Liberation starting in 1968. Redstockings is a radical feminist think tank and one of the original groups of the 1960s Women’s Liberation Movement in New York City. Gainesville Women's Liberation is the first women’s liberation group in the South, founded in 1968. This collaboration continues today.
What is Redstockings?
"Redstockings" was a name taken in 1969 by one of the founding women's liberation groups of the 1960's to represent the union of two traditions: the "bluestocking" label disparagingly pinned on feminists of earlier centuries — and "red" for revolution.
Redstockings today is a new kind of grassroots, activist "think tank," established by movement veterans, for defending and advancing the women's liberation agenda. The Archives for Action is a project Redstockings established in 1989 to make the formative and radical 1960's experience of the movement more widely available for the taking stock needed for new understandings and improved strategies.
Redstockings celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Watch for events!
Risks and challenges
The book already has a publisher (Verso) with a scheduled release date of October 1. Due to the nature of publishing, there could be a delay in the final print date for the books, however it won’t hold the project back. The study guide and the new button are in the final stages of development, we just need your support to finish them and put them into production. Additional funds will be allocated to the cost of travel and lodging for the book tour. We’re in the process of compiling a list of possible stops, and depending on the number of cities and final budget, we may not be able to visit every city to which we’re invited. Donate at any level to receive updates on final book tour dates and locations. Thanks for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter