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Reproductive Rights

Marj Jackson Levin

Journalist Marjorie “Marj” Jackson Levin was an important voice for feminism in Detroit, raising awareness of domestic abuse and other women’s issues.

Talking Abortion, Stigma, and Storytelling with The Sea Change Program

Last month, JWA's podcast Can We Talk? reflected on the founding of the women's health collective Our Bodies Ourselves. Hearing founder Vilunya Diskin talk about fighting for reproductive rights in the late 1960s and early 1970sincluding access to safe abortions, turned my thoughts to where we stand today. Abortion has been legal since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, but stigma against women who get abortions seems more pervasive than ever. With abortion making headlines again as the subject of political debate, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and hear what real women are experiencing outside of the media glare. 

Ros Baxandall, 1939 - 2015

Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall was my co-author on several books, my conscience and co-conspirator in all things feminist and political, and my very close friend. Ros, who died of cancer on October 13, 2015, at age 76, was one of the founders of the women’s liberation movement and a prominent activist for a range of social justice issues. Her rebellious spirit shaped her life from her school days to mere months before she passed away.

Learning How To Lose

When I think of former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, the first thing that comes to my mind is her shoes. A fearlessly bright shade of pink, this choice of footwear made headlines across the country when Davis debuted them…at an eleven-hour filibuster to prevent a vote on a bill that would have mandated the closure of most Texas abortion clinics.

Care No Matter What

Recently, American women came under attack. And I’m not talking about a dozen women, or even a hundred women. Earlier this year, each and every one of the estimated 160 million women living in the United States of America was threatened by an attack which, had it succeeded, would have set women’s rights back to the early 1900s. 

Sarah Silverman

Comedian Sarah Silverman has used her raunchy and irreverent deadpan humor as much to raise awareness about issues like women’s health as to entertain.

Madalyn Schenk

An education reformer who helped spearhead preschool programs for NCJW and United Way, Schenk focused her attention after Katrina on rebuilding schools.

Naomi Weisstein, 1939 - 2015

“Papa don’t lay that shit on me, I ain’t your groovy chick.
Papa don’t lay that shit on me, it’s just about to make me sick.”

—Naomi Weisstein in the Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band

Naomi Weisstein was a fierce warrior for justice. She was a passionate disrupter of the existing order. She was a brilliant scientist. She was a fighter for women’s liberation. She was hysterically funny. She had biting insights. She was my beloved friend.

Fania Mindell

After co-founding America’s first birth control clinic with Margaret Sanger in 1916, Fania Mindell was arrested and convicted of breaking the Comstock Act for her efforts to make birth control available to women.

Adeline Schulberg

Adeline Schulberg’s long and winding career path led her from activist to Hollywood agent and back again.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Reproductive Rights." (Viewed on October 25, 2016) <>.


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