Falwell Meets Hoffman

Falwell Meets Hoffman

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of The Moral Majority, leader of Liberty Baptist, a Christian fundamentalist college in Lynchburg, Va.. and fierce opponent of abortion, met Merle Hoffman, Executive Director of CHOICES, for the first time on station WXYZ-TV in Detroit. The two debated, in front of a live audience, a woman’s right to choose abortion.

Ms. Hoffman, who has debated and won the respect of many Moral Majority and right-to-life leaders, spoke eloquently of the inalienable right of all women to control their own destiny. She repeatedly asked the Reverend to address the critical causes of unwanted pregnancies such as harsh economic realities, inadequate, ineffective and unsafe birth control methods, and lack of realistic sex education for teenagers.

Rev. Falwell responded by constantly trying to interrupt Ms. Hoffman with quotations from the Bible and accused her of being responsible for the murder of thousands of babies. Ms. Hoffman, equipped with quotations of her own, passionately assured the audience that the question of the beginning of life was a matter of individual conscience and that the whole issue of abortion involved women and their right to choose.


Merle Hoffman's Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto

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“Merle Hoffman has always known that in a democracy, we each have decision-making power over the fate of our own bodies. She is a national hero for us all.” —Gloria Steinem

In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade and a country divided, Merle Hoffman, a pioneer in the pro-choice movement and women’s healthcare, offers an unapologetic and authoritative take on abortion calling it “the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberty.” 

Merle Hoffman has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom movement since the 1970s. Three years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade, she helped to establish one of the United States’ first abortion centers in Flushing, Queens, and later went on to found Choices, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities. For the last five decades, Hoffman has been a steadfast warrior and fierce advocate for every woman’s right to choose when and whether or not to be a mother.