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Lili Loofbourow @Millicentsomer
, 15 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
She spent the '60s running SHA out of her apartment, teaching DIY abortion classes and publishing The List--a kind of Yelp of ok doctors--and trying to get arrested so unjust laws would be exposed. She's 90 now. I got to profile her. Meet Pat Maginnis.…
Here she is in 1963, handing out leaflets about abortion when it was still a crime to disseminate info about it. "I feel great indignation as a woman to think that women have to subject themselves to second-rate medical care for a safe, surgical procedure"
She joined the Women's Army Corps but was "disciplined" for walking with a black soldier. "You’re setting a bad example for young white women who might join the military," she was told. They shipped her to Panama, where she worked at the hospital and saw a lot in the OB/GYN ward.
(I asked her if she wanted to be seen with anything for this photo. She asked in her polite way whether I thought a shovel would be okay, and came back with a shovel and pitchfork. And then this reboot of American Gothic happened.)
from the Marin Women's News Journal in May 1973
a listing for Maginnis' class in the Berkeley Barb, an underground newspaper, in 1966
the LA Free Press on how Maginnis replied to "the fuzz" interrogating her as she was "spraddled out" in the hospital recovering from an abortion
activist burnout is real and Maginnis seemed more weary than triumphant about Roe when I asked. It was kind of moving, then, to see this 1975 clipping she'd kept re: the decline in maternal deaths after abortion laws changed. maybe a quiet affirmation that the work mattered.
the contents of the class were printed--w/tons of legal disclaimers, as printing this was risky--in a couple of underground newspapers. here's some of Pat and Rowena's advice on how to deal with police if women had to go to the hospital after their abortions and cops were called
Pat and Rowena specifically and politely invited the police to every single thing they ever did. Sometimes it paid off.
The List was updated based on reports they got back. A selection of letters from women--some reporting back on doctors, some asking for help--was reprinted by the LA Free Press here (I searched for "Maginnis" so it'll take you to the correct page):…
there are many surprising details in this story
(I don't think I even mentioned that she's also a political cartoonist but she is, here's one)
also I hesitated to post this clip but I'm going to--it kinda chokes me up and I'm not totally sure why--it isn't Maginnis as much as it is the others, somehow…
(cannot recommend this book highly enough, by the way)…
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