In 1971, Merle Hoffman founded Choices Medical Center, one of the country’s first abortion clinics. An activist, journalist, and women’s health care pioneer, Merle is also the publisher On The Issues magazine. Her new book, Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom, will be published in January.
When did you first call yourself a feminist? What inspired that decision?
My feminism came from the “ground up,” from practice to theory. It was catalyzed by the first patient who came to Choices and whose hand I held during her abortion. My political activism was inspired by the Hyde Amendment in 1976, which I viewed as an egregious attack on poor and minority women.
I did not call myself a feminist until the mid-80s. Prior to that I was merely responding to a great need in front of me in the form of thousands of women presenting themselves for abortion services. [Read more...]