Abortion and Birth Control

NWL demands that women have full control over the decision to have children. We want free and full access to all forms of birth control, including contraception and abortion. We want to make these decisions without pressure to have children, to go on Depo-Provera, to take hormones, or to get sterilized. We want men to do their share of pregnancy prevention and disease prevention by wearing a condom without being asked, paying for birth control and/or getting a vasectomy. We want doctors to ask men, not just us, what they are using for birth control.

Since 2004, feminists in National Women’s Liberation, through the Morning-After Pill Conspiracy, have led a grassroots fight to make the Morning-After Pill (MAP, also known as “emergency contraception”) available to all women without restriction. While feminist pressure forced the Food and Drug Administration to finally put one brand of MAP over the counter without any restrictions in 2013, the generic versions must be labeled for sale to women 17 and up, therefore still requiring women to show ID to purchase the generic.  NWL continues the fight to make this important tool available at all women’s fingertips. For more information see mapconspiracy.org.


Loretta Ross on Racist Reproductive Oppression

By Jenny Brown

Loretta Ross courtesy of lorettaross.com  

At an NWL conference in August 2014, African-American feminist organizer and theorist, Loretta Ross of SisterSong responded to the idea of women calling a birth strike for better conditions and what that would mean for African-American women.

Ross argued that established powers in the U.S. have, since the end of slavery, tried to reduce the number of births to African-American women through forced sterilization and its modern equivalents, like pushing dangerous long-lasting birth control such as Depo-Provera on young women of color.  But, she said, racist reproductive oppression cannot be understood separately from white supremacist policies in all areas of U.S. life, from housing to welfare to health care to police murder to imprisonment. Her message was that these racist activities can’t be overturned if they’re seen as isolated, unrelated issues.


NWL Organizers Receive 2013 American Society for Emergency Contraception Charlotte Ellertson Award

Ellertson Award

 (L to R) On behalf of NWL, organizers Alex Leader, Annie Tummino, and Allison Guttu accept the 2013 Charlotte Ellertson Award for Innovation in Emergency Contraception. Presenting the award are Dr. James Trussell (back row) and American Society of Emergency Contraception coordinator, Kelly Cleland. For more on the history of the award and past winners, visit www.cecinfo.org

4.5.13 - Court Orders FDA to Remove All Restrictions on the Morning-After Pill

Feminists Win Landmark Birth Control Victory

Today, a U.S. federal judge ordered that the Morning-After Pill be made available "without a prescription and without point-of-sale or age restrictions within thirty days."

Judge Edward R. Korman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued his Memorandum Opinion and Order in Tummino v. Hamburg which reversed a prior decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS).

Judge Korman found that "[t]hese emergency contraceptives would be among the safest drugs sold over-the-counter."

Citing the Obama administration's "unjustified departures" from established policy to make safe medications available to the public, the court found that the administration invoked arguments that were an "excuse to deprive the overwhelming majority of women of their right to obtain contraceptives without unjustified and burdensome restrictions."

Referring to "political interference" from the White House, the judge stated "the motivation for [Secretary Sebelius'] action was obviously political. ... [I]t was an election year decision that 'many public health experts saw as a politically motivated effort to avoid riling religious groups and others opposed to making birth control available to girls.'"

Read the court’s full opinion here



Morning After Pill – Over the Counter or Behind the Counter?

"Because no one else except the Women's Liberation Movement) is going to cry out against these restrictions, it is up to feminists to make the strongest and most precise demands upon the lawmakers -who ostensibly exist to serve us. We will not accept insults and call them "steps in the right direction."
— Lucinda Cisler, 1970*

It is obvious to most people that the current prescription-only status of the Morning-After Pill must be changed. It requires women to get (and pay for) a doctor's appointment, which is a major obstacle for a drug that is most effective to prevent pregnancy when taken within 24 hours - and fairly effective up to 72 hours - after sex.