Health Health

This section of the on-line archive contains the Chicago Maternity Center struggle, pregnancy testing, the fight against sterilization abuse, abortion rights, sexism in the medical field and more.

Jane Special Feature Visit this section of our website to learn more about the CWLU's Abortion Counseling Service, better known by its nickname "Jane".

End Racism in the Healthcare System (undated: probably 1970) A bold radical paper that exposed racism in America's health system.

Free Abortion is Every Woman's Right (circa 1970-71) A statement from the CWLU calling for an end to restrictive abortion laws, and the reform of our entire healthcare system.

The Politics of Sterilization (1971) A leaflet distributed by the CWLU to bring attention to the problem of sterilization abuse.

Woman as Patient by Laura Green (1971) Women faced deepseated and often outrageous discrimination both as patients and as healthcare providers.

The Chicago Maternity Center: 77 Years of home deliveries by Alice (1972) An article from Womankind which traces the history of the Chicago Maternity Center, a unique home birth clinic on Chicago's Westside threatened with closing by powerful financial interests.

Having a Baby My Way by Pat (1972) A woman describes having her baby at home with the help of the Chicago Maternity Center, the legendary home birthing center formerly located on Chicago's Westside.

Save the Chicago Maternity Center by WATCH (1972) WATCH- Women Act To Control Healthcare, led a campaign to try to save the Chicago Maternity Center which offered safe home birth services to Chicago's impoverished west side.

WATCH Demands (1972) WATCH- Women Act To Control Healthcare, led a campaign to try to save the Chicago Maternity Center which offered safe home birth services to Chicago's impoverished west side. These were their demands.

Rape (1972) Rape became a major feminist issue and anti-rape programs sprang up across the country.

The Fear of Childbirth is a PAIN (1972) An understanding of the politics of biology was essential to women's liberation.

CWLU Expands Health Program (1973) The Chicago Women's Liberation Union's health programs were some of its best known and successful projects.

Abortion Task Force: Who We Are (1973) The Abortion Task Force was organized to ensure that abortions were safe and affordable in the wake of the Roe v. Wade decision.

ATF Fights Board of Health Regulations (1973) The Abortion Task Force challenged the City's new regulations in the wake of Roe v. Wade.

Abortions are Legal, But... (1973) Women in Chicago still faced problems even after Roe v. Wade effectively legalized abortion in 1973.
A Young Woman's Death: Would Healthcare Rights Have Prevented It? by Dr. Helen Rodriquez-Trias (1974) Dr. Rodriquez-Trias was a leader in the public health field and a founder of the movement against sterilization abuse. Her ideas helped to guide CWLU healthcare strategy.

CESA Statement of Purpose (1975) Outlines the program of the Committee to End Sterilization Abuse (CESA).

Medical Crimes Against Women by Jenny Knauss, Janet M., Kathy M., Lauren C. & Sharon M.(circa 1976) A proposal to launch an ambitious CWLU healthcare organizing project.

Sterlization Abuse: A Task for the Women's Movement by The Chicago Committee to End Sterlization Abuse (January 1977) A working paper written to mobilize the women's movement to demand an end to forced sterlization.

35% of Puerto Rican Women Sterilized by the Committee for Puerto Rican Decolonization (undated-but probably late 1970's) An expose of the reproductive policies pursued by the Puerto Rican authorities in collusion with the US government and US corporations.

A View from the Loop ( Late 1970's) An excellent introduction to the women's health movement in Chicago from 1969-1975.

The Jenny Knauss Collection (1986) Jenny Knauss donated her personal files of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU) and feminist health-related material to the McCormick Library at Northwestern University in 1986. You may browse through an inventory of the 9 boxes of documents. The inventory is in Adobe Acrobat format. You may obtain the free Acrobat Reader HERE .

The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health: A History (2002) Former CWLU health activist Jenny Knauss was Executive Director of the Caucus from 1983-2002, working tirelessly on behalf of Illinois young people. The Caucus is a good example of the kind of grassroots health organization that CWLU health activists had advocated.


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