In 1969 members of the "second wave" radical feminist group Redstockings were furious that legislative hearings about abortion featured only male speakers. On March 21, of that year Redstockings organized a public hearing entitled an "Abortion Speak Out." Redstockings was started by Ellen Willis and Shulamith Firestone in February 1969 after the breakup of New York Radical Women.
The abortion debate at that time focused on rape, incest or the health of the mother. Radical women's groups like Redstocking helped to shift the debate to a woman's right to choose. The original Redstocking collective split up in 1970 but continued in various incarnations afterwards.