TEXT ON SCREEN: In 1965, with abortion illegal in the U.S., a 19-year-old college student named Heather Booth defied the law.
HEATHER BOOTH: A friend of mine said that his sister was pregnant and nearly suicidal, that she didn’t know what to do and asked me, could I find someone who could perform an abortion.
I went to the only physician’s network that I knew, and that was the Medical Committee for Human Rights, which was the medical arm of the civil rights movement. One doctor referred me to another. I called him up. He said he’d do the procedure. I put my friend in touch with him.
A little time went by and someone else called. Initially I thought it was a coincidence, and I made the connection. And the procedure was successful. And then someone else called.
LAURA KAPLAN: So she was doing this out of her dorm room. She started getting more and more calls, and there were too many for her to handle. And so she organized this group. It was the best known secret in Chicago.