Guide to the Papers of the Clergy Consultation Service

Collection Title: Papers of the Clergy Consultation Service
Dates: 1967-1979
Identification: MS 128
Creator: Parsons, E. Spencer
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: E. Spencer Parsons served as chairman of both the Chicago Clergy Consultation Service on Problem Pregnancies and the Illinois Clergy Consultation Service. This collection contains articles and newspaper ephemera on abortion, his files related to the National Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (1969-1973), the Chicago Clergy Consultation Service on Problem Pregnancies (1967-1973), and the Illinois Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (1974-1979), including membership rosters, correspondence, minutes, and articles.
Acquisition Information: E. Spencer Parsons, dean of Rockefeller Chapel of the University of Chicago, donated this collection on the Clergy Consultation Service and its activities to the McCormick Library in October 1999.
Processing Information: Collection processed by Sigrid Pohl Perry in July 2000 and encoded by her into XMetaL in September 2004.
Conditions Governing Use: Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question unless otherwise designated.
Conditions Governing Access: Available for research.
Preferred Citation: Papers of the Clergy Consultation Service, 1967-1979, Manuscript Series CXXVIII, Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University Library.
Related Materials: Women's Ephemera Files (WEF) on abortion and JANE. Inquire at the McCormick Library reference desk for these materials. Paula Kamen collection on JANE (Series CXXV) Jenny Knauss collection on women's health (Series XCIII).
Repository: Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL,
Phone: 847-491-3635

Biographical/Historical Information

The Clergy Consultation Service was founded in 1967 by twenty-one ministers and rabbis who established the counseling service to advise women about problem pregnancies and make referrals on medical issues including abortion. This group was initially centered at Judson Memorial Church in New York City where Howard Moody served as senior pastor. The New York CCS raised money to fund a Reproduction Crisis Facility in 1969 which operated until repeal of that legislation in 1972. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on 23 January 1973 guaranteed women the right to choose when and whether to bear children.

Scope and Content

These materials collected by E. Spencer Parsons consist of articles, newspaper ephemera, correspondence, minutes of meetings, membership rosters, and sermons and addresses related to the activities of the Clergy Consultation Service between 1968 and 1976. A book on the history of the organization is also included: Arlene Carmen and Howard Moody, Abortion Counseling and Social Change: from Illegal Act to Medical Practice; The Story of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion, 1973.


Corporate Name

Clergy Consultation Service

Illinois Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights

Jane (Abortion service)

Personal Name

Brown, Ralph E., 1929-2008

Campbell, William J. (William Joseph), 1905-1988

Carmen, Arlene

Ketchum, Jesse

Miller, Vern, 1928-

Moody, Howard, 1921-2012

Parsons, E. Spencer

Ruether, Rosemary Radford

Ticktin, Max D.

Woods, Denis


Abortion services--Illinois--Chicago

Abortion services--United States--History

Abortion--United States

Pastoral counseling

Container List / Contents

  • Carmen, Arlene and Moody, Howard. "Abortion Counseling and Social Change: From Illegal Act to Medical Practice; The Story of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion." Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1973.Folder 1
  • MiscellaneousFolder 2
    • Correspondence, membership, articles, 1969-1973.Folder 2
    • First National Conference on Abortion Laws, Chicago, February 14-16, 1969.Folder 2
    • Brownmiller, Susan. "Abortion Counseling: Service Beyond Sermons," August 1969.Folder 2
    • Conger, S.B., "Evaluation of Abortion Services at Women's Medical Services," 1970.Folder 2
    • Davis, N.J., "Clergy Abortion Brokers: A Transactional Analysis of Social Movement Development," 1973.Folder 2
    • Grinspoon, L., "Addiction, Dependence, and the 'Stepping-stone Hypothesis,'" 1971.Folder 2
    • Harvey, H.H. and Pyle, B.Y.E., "On the Healthiness of Four Thousand Abortions in a Free Standing Abortion Service," 1970.Folder 2
    • The Hooker's Hookup; A Professional Journal. vol. 1 no. 2, Winter 1980. Published by Judson Memorial Church, New York City. vol. 1 no. 2, Winter 1980. Published by Judson Memorial Church, New York City.Folder 2
    • Kuehn, E., "Minnesota Girls Go to Mexico because Abortion Is 'Less Illegal' There," 1970.Folder 2
    • Moody, Howard, "Heroin: The Law Is Worse Than the Drug," 1972.Folder 2
    • Nathansson, B.A., "Ambulatory Abortion: Experience with 26,000 Cases (July 1, 1970-August 1, 1971)"Folder 2
    • Miscellaneous short articles and newspaper clippings.Folder 2
  • Fliers, memos, correspondence, membership, minutes, statistics: 1969-1976, Chicago Area Clergy Consultation Service on Problem PregnanciesFolder 3
  • MiscellaneousFolder 4
    • Correspondence, memos, fliers, policy statements, questionnaires, contact list for the Midwest, U.S., and Mexico City: 1967-1973.Folder 4
        Scope and Contents: Chicago Clergy Consultation Service, Illinois Citizens for the Medical Control of Abortion, Society for Humane Abortion, Choice, Illinois Clergy Consultation Services.
    • Pro-Duosterone Pregnancy CalculatorFolder 4
  • Recommendations, clipping, sample questionnaire. Cooperation Abortion Referral & Evaluation Service (CARES)Folder 5
  • MiscellaneousFolder 6
    • Correspondence, minutes, press releases, clippings, membership: 1974-1979. Illinois Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR).Folder 6
    • Miller, E., "Religious Liberty and Abortion," New England Conference of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights., November 4, 1976.Folder 6
    • "We Affirm. . . ; excerpts from statements about abortion rights. . . religious organizations,", 1978.Folder 6
    • Fliers. Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights of Massachusetts., 1979Folder 6
  • Abortion: editorials, press releases, articles, clippings, correspondence with media,, 1969-1976.Folder 7
  • Abortion cases: legal briefs, clippings, correspondence, 1971-1976Folder 8
      Scope and Contents: Brown, Ralph E.; Campbell, William J. (judge and dissenter in civil action), Miller, Vern (Kansas attorney general); Ruether, Rosemary Radford (statement on free choice).
  • Abortion cases: correspondence, clippings, legal briefs, press releases, 1970-1973Folder 9
      Scope and Contents: Ketchum, Dr. Jesse, Parsons, E. Spencer, Ticktin, Rabbi Max D.
  • Correspondence, including letters from users of the Clergy Consultation Service letter includes sermon draft., 1968-1976Folder 10
      Scope and Contents: Parsons, E. Spencer; Woods, Denis (letter includes sermon draft).
  • MiscellaneousFolder 11
    • Articles, press releases, statements, sermon; Parsons, E. Spencer., 1970-1974Folder 11
    • "Abortion: Conscience and Public Policy," Parsons, E. Spencer.Folder 11
    • "Abortion: A Private and Public Concern," Parsons, E. Spencer., January 1971Folder 11
    • "Symposium Population: Moral Issues," Parsons, E. Spencer., 1973Folder 11
    • "Drugs and the Law: A Problem in Ethics," Parsons, E. Spencer., May 1974Folder 11
    • "Clergy Consultation Service on Problem Pregnancies: Background Information on the Legal Aspects of Abortion," Parsons, E. Spencer. Three versions of a handout prepared by Parsons.Folder 11
    • Sermon draft, Woods, Denis., August 1970Folder 11
    • Dilitation & Curettage article related to abortion, Steinberg, M.D., 1971Folder 11
  • MiscellaneousFolder 12
    • Notes for "San Diego file," chronology of events, statistics, 1967-1973Folder 12
        Scope and Contents: Parsons, E. Spencer; Chicago Clergy Consultation Service
    • "A Survey of Over 20,000 Abortions at the Cook County Hospital", 1961-1965Folder 12
  • Questions and answers regarding abortion (blank surveys)Folder 13