In Protest of Anti-Choice Legislation, “The Abortion Caravan” Shut Down Canadian Parliament 50 Years Ago

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Gloria Steinem called Karin Wells’s The Abortion Caravan: When Women Shut Down Government in the Battle for the Right to Choose, “One irresistible story from the journey towards women owning their own bodies.”

Fifty years ago, seventeen angry, defiant young women decided to do something about Canada’s abortion laws.

They set out from the west coast in a Volkswagen van, a pickup truck and a great big Pontiac Parisienne convertible. The van had a big black coffin on top—symbolizing the thousands of women who died as a result of back street abortions.

They stopped at ten towns and cities across Canada holding rallies, doing guerrilla theatre, sleeping on basement floors and adding more women to the Caravan as they went. 

By the time they reached Ottawa, Canada’s capital, they were exhausted, even more defiant—and five hundred strong. They marched on the…

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