My Great Grandmother, Abortion, and What We (Should) Ask of History

On November 9, 1922, my great grandmother Frances Owen departed Vancouver for the United States with the hopes of reaching Bellingham, Washington. An unmarried 25-year-old, she sought the care of Dr. Shute whom she heard from her friend Dot “was a good one to go to” to address that she was “6 weeks in a …

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Jane Wasn’t Alone: California Abortion Activists Before Roe

With the horror that is the recent spate of anti-abortion/forced-pregnancy laws, we are seeing a lot of talk about Jane. Heather Booth created the referral service in 1965 while a student at the University of Chicago. When the sister of a friend needed an abortion Booth used her activist network to locate a doctor who …

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Academia is messy. It’s also an adventure.

Social media reminds me that today marks nine years since I left California for Michigan and PhD school. I never could have predicted the adventures that would follow (or the anxiety disorders). The job market prompted a level of depression I hadn't experienced since my teen years as well as a good deal of reflection …

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I study lesbians.

When I first entered grad school I saw myself studying women of the Progressive Era. Suffragists/ettes especially. My advisor encouraged me down another path and these days I'm almost always glad she did. My abbreviated answer to the obligatory "what do you work on?" is, "I study lesbians" (read: professional lesbian). The proper answer is, …

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