Books·Canadian

The Abortion Caravan

The Abortion Caravan is a book by Karin Wells.

Karin Wells

In the spring of 1970, seventeen women set out from Vancouver in a big yellow convertible, a Volkswagen bus, and a pickup truck. It was called the Abortion Caravan. Five thousand kilometres later, they led a rally of 500 women on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, "occupied" the Prime Minister's front lawn, chained themselves to their chairs in the visitors' galleries, and shut down parliament — the first and only time this was accomplished.

The seventeen were a motley crew. They argued, they were loud, and they took no prisoners. In an era when there was no social media and no one could afford long distance phone calls, they pulled off a national campaign. It changed their lives. And at a time when thousands of women in Canada were dying from back street abortions, it pulled women together across the country. May 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Caravan. (From Second Story Press)

The Abortion Caravan is available in April 2020.

Wells is a CBC Radio documentary maker. She has reported from more than 50 countries. The Abortion Caravan is her first book.

Documentaries by Karin Wells

Documentary producer Karin Wells visited Mary Pratt's exhibition at The Rooms in St. John's, along with the artist. After that visit, Karin wrote an essay, which we broadcast in September 2013. 4:06
Last week's historic vote to overturn Ireland’s ban on abortion grabbed attention around the world. And it reminded us of a gem in our documentary vault. Almost 50 years ago, a group of Canadian women set out on a cross-country trek to Ottawa in what became known as the abortion caravan. They took Parliament by a storm, literally. We’ll taste of Karin Wells's 2010 documentary "The women are coming". 39:48
Karin Wells is a story teller. On Rewind two of Karin’s many CBC Radio documentaries, a Canadian born surgeon who contracted AIDS after working for many years in Uganda and a remarkable music school in a Soweto township in South Africa. 54:59
Karin Wells is one of CBC's best radio doc makers. Her work has been a fixture on CBC radio for over 40 years, but this past summer Karin retired. So on today's show, we're going to tour the work of this relentlessly dedicated doc producer. 27:29
Twenty-four years ago, Margo Bentley wrote an advance directive to say that if she could no longer recognize her family, she wanted to be allowed to die. But because she still opens her mouth in the presence of a spoon, she is kept alive. 25:46

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