Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Feminist abortion activist Jody Howard dies

Our Bodies Ourselves on Facebook has posted a link to the obituary for Jody Howard at chicagotribune.com. Howard was a co-founder of "Jane," the abortion service provided by the Chicago Women's Liberation Union before Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure.

According to the obituary, Howard became a feminist at Michigan State University,.After graduation, she moved with her husband to the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. She became involved in a variety of progressive causes, including the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and the American Civil Liberties Union. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease while pregnant with her daughter. She needed an abortion for health reasons as the result of a later, unexpected pregnancy. In order to get a legal abortion, she was required to go through two psychiatric evaluations. This experience helped to inspire Howard to co-found Jane.
A forceful advocate for causes she backed, Ms. Howard "had a great deal of personal charisma and (at the same time) could offer a very nice analysis of the issue," [former Jane member Martha] Scott said.

With her daughters, Ms. Howard participated in a blockade of the Rock Island Arsenal to protest war. At an ACLU fundraiser at Hugh Hefner's Gold Coast mansion, she showed up with small pictures of naked men that she posted here and there.

"She was escorted out," her ex-husband said.
A commenter on Our Bodies Ourselves Facebook post pointed out that more information about Jane can be found at this page on the Chicago Women's Liberation Union herstory site.

No comments: