Also, it's Cindy's 80th birthday October 13!
Cisler led in the fight for abortion law repeal in New York, laying the groundwork for Roe vs. Wade. Her clearsighted essays about the struggle are right on target today. In Abortion Law Repeal (Sort of): A Warning to Women Cisler predicts in 1970 nearly every trap laid out by opponents of abortion rights.
Members of Redstockings and National Women's Liberation and other coworkers and feminist veterans are spreading the word: Help this feminist heroine to whom we owe so much to have stable housing.
(Photo above: Cisler (center) pickets at St. Patrick's Cathedral to protest the Pope's ban on birth control. Time Magazine, August 1968, Redstockings Archives.)
Cisler (at right) joins the Statue of Liberty action in 1970.
Kathie Sarachild wrote of Cindy:
"It was in New York State, the area in which radical feminist analysis, action, and organizing ideas were strongest and most advanced, that the first concrete breakthrough of the women's liberation movement in the United States was achieved - the abortion law reform which for a few years turned New York State into 'the abortion mill of the nation' and upon which the U.S. Supreme Court modeled its guidelines a few years later. It was the radical strategies of 1) opposition to reform and demand for repeal, led by Lucinda Cisler 2) mass consciousness-raising on abortion with women testifying to their 'criminal' acts in public and in court 3) the development of the feminist self-help clinic ideas and their promotion of simpler, new abortion techniques that led to the nationwide reform in five years time....
"Cisler also raised the movement's consciousness by pointing out that the requirement being written into the new 'reform' laws stipulating that only physicians perform abortions, or that they only be done in hospitals, was an unnecessary restriction - keeping abortions much more expensive than they had to be. Cisler argued that abortion should simply fall under the general medical codes, not under any special ones. Nurses and midwives were already delivering babies under the general codes, a procedure statistically ten times more dangerous than abortion." (Excerpted from Redstockings Feminist Revolution .)
Cindy's penetrating yet down-to-earth articles about subjects like birth control and abortion appeared in many of the breakthrough Women's Liberation anthologies of 1970—Sookie Stambler's Women's Liberation: Blueprint for the Future, Robin Morgan's Sisterhood Is Powerful, Mary Lou Thompson's Voices of the New Feminism, and Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt's radical feminist journal Notes From the Second Year.
Cindy is a model for fusing powerful theory with practice. She unflinchingly participated in many of the pioneer actions of 1967-1970 that launched the feminist "Second Wave." You can see her demonstrating in 1968 outside St. Patrick's Cathedral against the Catholic Church's efforts to suppress all access to birth control. She was with New York Radical Women at the protest of the Miss America Beauty Pageant in 1968. And she was part of the team that picketed and hung the "Women of the World Unite" banner at the Statue of Liberty in August of 1970.
Cindy (far left) pickets the Miss America pageant in 1968.
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