• IdentificationMSARAI76
  • TitleAbortion Rights Association of Illinois records MSARAI76
  • PublisherSpecial Collections
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositorySpecial Collections
  • Physical Description8.0 Linear feet
  • Date1963-1976
  • AbstractThe records of Illinois Citizens for the Medical Control of Abortion, later the Abortion Rights Association of Illinois document their efforts to change Illinois abortion law in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • OriginationAbortion Rights Association of Illinois.

Old Resource ID was AbortionRights

The Illinois Citizens for the Medical Control of Abortion (ICMCA) was established in December 1966 with the belief that, "all laws concerning abortion performed by licensed physician be repealed and that abortion be governed by the general laws regulating licensure and practice... that abortion remain a crime if performed by a person not duly licensed to practice medicine."

Dr. Lonny Myers, who wrote and spoke extensively about abortion and sexual health, served as the first Chair of ICMCA before joining the National Association to Repeal Abortion Laws. The First Unitarian Church at 57th and Woodlawn provided office space for ICMCA in Fenn House at 5638 South Woodlawn. Drawing membership from the Chicago and downstate areas, ICMCA membership included lawyers, local politicians, state legislators, medical professionals and members of the clergy. Barbara Siegel Kahn of Barbara's Books acted as Chair of the Public Relations Committee. Myers was followed by the Episcopal minister the Revered Don. C. Shaw, Chicago lawyer Ralph Brown, and the Reverend E. Spencer Parsons as ICMCA chairs.

ICMCA worked for abortion law repeal. Their efforts included letter writing campaigns to Illinois state representatives, raising public awareness through a speakers' bureau, with their representatives appearing on local TV and Radio in the late 1960s, and working with other like-minded organizations. ICMCA organized the "First National Conference on Abortion Laws/Modification or Repeal?" in February 1969. Members participated in other abortion conferences, including the Kennedy International Conference on Abortion (1967) and provided testimony for family health legislative commissions. ICMCA communicated with individuals and organizations across the country and drew some national recognition, including a $5,000 donation from Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Foundation.

By 1976 the group had become the Abortion Rights Association of Illinois, headed by Director Helen Smith.

The records of the Illinois Citizens for the Medical Control of Abortion (ICMCA) document its effort to repeal abortion laws in the state of Illinois. Later to become the Abortion Rights Association of Illinois the ICMCA collection includes internal records as well as those documenting its legislative activities, member events and contribution to abortion conferences and commissions. Includes files of news articles and subject files on the abortion views of other organizations and the legal status of abortion outside Illinois.

Abortion Rights Association of Illinois records, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • NamesAbortion Rights Association of Illinois. -- Archives
  • Subject
    • Abortion--Government policy.
    • Chicago Community Organizations.
    • Midwest Women's History.
    • Pro-choice movement.
  • Geographic CoverageIllinois.