FROM DANGER TO DIGNITY: The Surprising (and Convoluted) History of U.S. Abortion Politics

March 31, 2022 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Housatonic Museum of Art [38731]
900 Lafayette Blvd. Bridgeport
Robbin Zella

In conjunction with its current exhibition “Of Woman Born”, the Housatonic Museum of Art presents a free public lecture entitled, FROM DANGER TO DIGNITY: The Surprising (and Convoluted) History of U.S. Abortion Politics.


During the first century of our republic, various forms of abortion were widely practiced. However, by around 1880, most states had passed restrictive anti-abortion legislation. And, a century later, the Supreme Court recognized the right to choose an abortion when it made its landmark decision with Roe v. Wade — the culmination of two decades of both underground and public activism.


Rhea Hirshman, freelance writer and editor, and an adjunct professor of women’s and gender studies at UConn Stamford will speak on the subject. The free lecture takes place on Thursday, March 31, at 1:30pm on the Housatonic Community College Campus, located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport. The lecture will takes place in Lafayette Hall Room LH109. Please reserve your seat on the museum’s website,


The Of Woman Born exhibition, on view through June 1, 2022 on the 2nd floor of Lafayette Hall, explores the ways in which male dominance has manifested itself in familial, social, legal, political, religious and economic systems. The exhibit traces the history of women and the various methods, philosophies, policies and practices, as well as legal strategies employed by patriarchal power to exert maximum control over women’s bodies.


Hirshman is deeply involved in women’s liberation activities including community education, reproductive rights advocacy, and the arts, and was recognized for her work by the Connecticut chapter of Veteran Feminists of America. She has been a visiting instructor at Yale and Wesleyan, founded a feminist bookstore in New Haven, does frequent public speaking and, for several years, wrote a gender issues column for the New Haven Register.