Opposing California's Abortion Law

About This Item

KPIX Eyewitness News report from May 17th 1970 by Ben Williams featuring interviews with a group who are trying to get the California abortion law declared unconstitutional. Dr. John Gwynne argues that with a qualified doctor and the latest equipment, it's safe to perform the procedure out of a doctor's office. Lana Clarke Phelan Kahn (1921-2010) refers to abortion as "a status crime," in the context that affluent women already have easy access to abortion. A physician from Oklahoma Dr. WJ Bryan Henrie (1896-1972) explains that he'd been performing abortions illegally for years, until he was "busted" in 1962. Since then, Dr. Henrie states he has worked towards changing the law, so that qualified practitioners can offer abortions "when a woman wants it done."

We'd like to thank Dr. Katherine Parkin Ph.D. for identifying Dr. John Gwynne and Lana Clarke Phelan Kahn in this clip and also for clarifying the timeline of Dr. Brian Henrie's activist work to change the law on abortion.

Originally aired on
Date aired
Recording medium
16mm color, magnetic sound film
Rights for this video belong to
Type of material
archival newsfilm
KPIX 102092

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