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Collection Overview
Creator:Reproductive Rights National Network.
Title:Reproductive Rights National Network records
Dates:1969-1995 (bulk 1980-1995)
Call Number:M137
Location:64/4
Volume:0.15 cubic ft. (1 box)
Scope and Content Abstract:The Reproductive Rights National Network collection focuses on the Boston branch's activities and affiliations from the early 1980s until 1995. While the organization's ideologies and tactics are well documented, there is only limited material about the organization's structure. Materials also document issues of access in reproductive health, the organization's position against forced sterilization in the United States, and the Network's stance against legislation preventing LGBT families from adopting and fostering children. The collection contains the Reproductive Rights Network Newsletter, from 1987-1992, and pamphlets outlining some of the issues facing the American Pro-Choice movement. Additionally, the collection contains flyers and brochures advertising events such as speakouts, panels, rallies, protests and counter-protests, marches, and candlelight vigils in Boston and other major cities. Also included is a photograph of the 1986 (?) March For Women's Lives.
Historical Abstract:The Reproductive Rights National Network was an umbrella organization that connected about 50 feminist affiliates between 1978 and 1984, when it dissolved due to lack of funding. While the national organization collapsed, the Boston affiliate survived until 1995. The Network developed out of a socialist project in Chicago during the late 1970s, when activists took a proactive approach to the abortion debate in the wake of Roe v. Wade. In 1978, Reproductive Rights National Network formed to reframe the debate. Its proactive stance set it apart from other organizations that simply responded to right-wing activism. By the end of 1978, nearly 50 women's and leftist organizations had joined the network. The Network devoted itself to making reproductive choice a reality for all women. It focused not only on increasing access to safe and affordable abortions, but also on working against the compulsive sterilization of "unfit" mothers, and advocating for the rights of LGBT couples to foster, adopt, and raise children. The Network also organized against the 1977 Hyde Amendment, which prohibited using federal money for abortions. During the early 1990s, it coordinated with the National Organization for Women to protect reproductive health clinic workers from harassment by right-wing activist organizations such as Operation Rescue. Through its newsletter, which was published from the late 1980s until the mid 1990s, the Reproductive Rights National Network raised awareness about the fight for reproductive freedom and organized activists in Greater Boston.
Arrangement:Alphabetical
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Reproductive Rights National Network

  • Abortion -- Government policy -- Citizen participation
  • Pro-Choice Movement -- Massachusetts
  • Women's Rights -- Massachusetts
  • Involuntary sterilization -- Law and legislation -- United States

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Related Materials:

Abortion Action Coalition records (M21), Boston Women's Music Collection records (M22), Somerville (Mass.) Women's Educational Center, Inc. records (M26), Women's Educational Center (Cambridge, Mass.) records (M47)

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Caro Pinto and Cynthia Rufo, 2007 Oct 26