by Anne Bower
AB Publications has been in existence for less than two months, but already the premier issue of the Body Politic is in the computer and awaiting final processing. However, this publication was not born two months ago. It is the culmination of eight years of education and consciousness-raising as a result of my association with the reproductive rights movement.
In 1982 as a graduate student at SUNY Binghamton, I took a one semester internship with the Education Department at Planned Parenthood in Binghamton. The books and journals available there lead me to do a Master's Thesis on teenage sexual behavior. After my thesis, I volunteered to structure their library in accordance with Planned Parenthood Federation cataloging norms and eventually became the first Resource Coordinator.
While employed at Planned Parenthood, I became close friends with Jane Clair, Public Affairs Director who shared her insights on reproductive rights, taught me about lobbying and gave me the gift of this publication's title.
During this time, I became involved with the Broome County Coalition For Free Choice, where I currently serve as Secretary and Chair of the Voter Id Project. Randy Terry's fanaticism arose in Binghamton in 1984 and prompted me to become an escort for Dr. Salomon Epstein. My experiences as an activist accorded me the privilege in 1988 of a seat on the Board of the New York State affiliate of the National Abortion Rights Action League.
All of these associations have enriched my understanding of the issues surrounding reproductive rights, but the question still remains, why start this publication?
The Body Politic was not born out of ego needs, or the hope of riches. I am not a Randy Terry or an aspiring Rupert Murdock. My experiences taught me that New York State has many excellent individuals and organizations working on choice, but everyone could benefit from better communication. Networking is the reason for the Body Politic.
It is my intention to report on what YOU are doing across the state and thereby share those activities with all the state. This is your publication - produced for your needs, not mine.
Of course, your support is critical. I need to hear from you. When something is going on in your area, whether a conference, or rally, or clinic blockade, the Body Politic wants to know. Call anytime at (607) 648-2760 and one of those infernal machines will answer, but I promise a real, live person will eventually get back to you.
There may be others in New York better qualified for this task, but I am the one tackling it, and if we can work together, it will be a success. I look forward to your comments, calls and subscriptions.