Rachel Brown is a PhD student at Tulane University in American Women’s History. As a Andrew W. Mellon fellow of Community Engaged Scholarship, Rachel intends to focus her dissertation topic on a transnational, borderlands history of abortion. She will analyze how and why women travel to access abortion in the twentieth century due to the increase of laws regulating women’s healthcare.
Rachel graduated in December 2017 from Texas State University with an M.A. in American History focused on Women’s, Genders, and Sexualities. Her M.A. thesis, titled, “Repeal Politics: Abortion in Austin, Texas, 1965-1975,” explains the development of the Birth Control Information Center at The University Of Texas in Austin. The students at the BCIC constructed an underground abortion network in which they took Texas women to Mexico for the procedure before legalization. She argues that Roe v. Wade started with student grassroots activism, a payphone, and an abortion sojourn service.
After graduation, Rachel hopes to work in academia or at a women’s health organization.