Marcy Bloom


Marcy Bloom is recipient of the 2006 William O. Douglas Award, the ACLU of Washington’s highest honor. The award is given for outstanding, consistent, and sustained contributions to civil liberties. A courageous advocate for civil liberties, Marcy Bloom has long been a leader in safeguarding the fundamental right to reproductive freedom. Bloom served for 18 years as the executive director and guiding force of the Aradia Women’s Health Center, Seattle’s first nonprofit abortion and gynecological health center, and a model for clinics nationwide.

Her activism spans the history of the reproductive rights movement. Bloom was on the front lines at a time when reproductive rights were not yet protected, helping women to locate safe providers and personally guiding them to states where abortions were legal and accessible. In the decades that followed, she dedicated herself to making health care and reproductive services available to all women.

In addition to her visionary role in shaping Aradia, she stood up to picketing and threats by anti-choice forces, assisted in exam rooms, lobbied the legislature, carried speculums to clinics in Mexico, and sat on the steering committee that oversaw the passage of Initiative 120, Washington’s reproductive freedom law.

She is also now doing U.S. advocacy and capacity building for a Mexico-City based organization GIRE – El Grupo de Informacion en Reproduccion Elegida/The Information Group on Reproductive Choice. GIRE seeks to decriminalize and destigmatize abortion and works toward the expansion of reproductive justice and respectful, safe reproductive health services for all the women of Latin America.

The “Intimate Wars” of the Indomitable Merle Hoffman

There are many incredible stories about leaders in the women’s rights movement. This is one of them. Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom is a complex story that is moving, sobering, and should not be missed.

(VIDEO) The Forsaken Women of the Philippines: The Hardship, Humiliation, and Hypocrisy of Unsafe Abortion

Although perhaps not completely shocking to those of us in the reproductive health and justice movement, the encompassing newly published Forsaken Lives: The Harmful Impact of the Philippine Criminal Abortion Ban by the innovative Center for Reproductive Rights is both incredibly powerful and devastating as it discusses in detail “the human suffering caused by the criminal ban on abortion [in the Philippines] and the challenges it creates for health service providers.”