What A 1970s Abortion Provider Thinks Of Today's Abortion Debate

"We're going backwards."

We talked to Aralyn Hughes, a second-wave activist who worked at Austin's first abortion clinic in the years following "Roe v. Wade," about why she became a feminist, what it was like to offer abortion services in the 70s, and how the abortion debate became so violently polarized.

This is what feminism looked like in the 1970s: Birth control had already made its debut, ushering in a radical new approach to sex and relationships that was continuing to gain ground. 1973 saw the legalization of abortion in Roe v. Wade; Title IX, Title X, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the criminalization of marital rape, and a no-fault divorce law were all passed in quick succession. While the word feminist was a loaded one, it was because women were fed up with the standard order of things.

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