In 1981, shortly after Ronald Reagan became President, the right to choose to have an abortion and sexual freedom was increasingly under attack.
The Feminist and Lesbian and Gay Task Forces of the Mobilization for Survival (MfS), a national network that included WRL, with goals to: abolish nuclear weapons and power, stop military intervention, meet human needs, and reverse the arms race, introduced this resolution:
"In keeping with our goals of meeting Human Needs, the MfS supports reproductive and sexual freedom for all people, including the right to free, safe, legal abortion on demand, and access to free, safe and effective birth control information and opposition to sterilization abuse. We support the right of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals to love whom they choose."
WRL’s discussions resulted in our affirming the right for a women [sic]* to have a legal abortion and to support the right to economic assistance for an abortion or to have a child if she chooses; to the right to sex education, birth control information, and opposition to sterilization abuse; and to affirm the right to all consenting individuals to complete sexual freedom.
WRL then wrote the Reproductive Freedom Statement and distributed it on the tag at demonstrations:
"Reproductive Freedom for All Women!
A women’s right to control her body, to make her own sexual choices, is a fundamental principle of a nonviolent society. Limited access to contraception, abortion, pre-natal care & childcare is violence against women. All women have the right to decide if and when to have children. Forced sterilization, practiced predominantly against women of color, is a violent act of racist oppression.
We affirm a woman’s right to self-determination. By squandering resources on the military, the government is spending to destroy rather than nurture life. Instead of weapons we need adequate food, housing childcare, healthcare and liberatory education.
Believing war to be a crime against humanity, the War Resisters League advocates nonviolent resistance to create a society free of war, racism, sexism and human exploitation."
*Note: We recognize that 40 years later we would say things differently - our cultural understandings around gender and sexuality have evolved.