Citizens' Committee on Crime calls for liberalization of abortion and marijuana laws on November 2, 1968.

  • By Cassandra Tate
  • Posted 10/24/2003
  • Essay 5577

On November 2, 1968, the Washington Citizens’ Committee on Crime calls for the liberalization of laws against marijuana and abortion.

The committee, organized by Attorney General John J. O’Connell, recommended that licensed physicians and women under the care of physicians be exempted from the existing abortion law, which permited abortions only to save the life of the mother. The group also recommended that abortions be performed only in accredited hospitals or in medical facilities approved by the State Board of Health, and that a counseling service be made available to women contemplating abortions.

The committee recommended that it remain a crime for a doctor or any person to abort a “quickened” fetus (one whose movements could be felt by the mother, generally after the fourth month of pregnancy), or to sell drugs for the purpose of inducing an abortion.

The committee also recommended that the laws against marijauna be liberalized.


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 262; The Seattle Times, November 3, 1968.

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