A pioneer in women’s reproductive health care, Merle Hoffman established one of the first ambulatory abortion centers in the nation in 1971, Choices Women's Medical Center, shortly after New York State legalized abortion and three years before the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The name “CHOICES” stands for Creative Health Organization for Information, Counseling and Educational Services.
On The Issues, a progressive, feminist quarterly published by Merle Hoffman from 1983 to 1999, became ON THE ISSUES MAGAZINE ONLINE. Featuring world class writers and artists presenting issues related to reproductive rights and the state of the abortion debate, WLW Journal says "ON THE ISSUES has it all, and has become one of the most outspoken feminst journals in the U.S."
The Institute was formed to promote women’s health issues for under served women in the United States
and abroad who do not have access to women’s health services by referring such individuals to local
organizations for services. The Choices Global Institute will achieve its charitable purposes by conducting
community outreach programs aimed at raising public awareness about women’s health.
Merle Hoffman with Statue of Diana, goddess of pregnant women and the Hunt
Music, My First Love!
Merle Hoffman with Phyllis Chesler and Bella Abzug at a Veteran Feminist of America in NYC circa 1990s
Working with Inmates and Staff at Rikers Island circa 1970s
Speaking at the Literary Society, Moscow, Russia, October 13, 1992
With Bella Abzug at a Pro-Choice Rally, NYC, circa 1980s
Merle Hoffman and Phyllis Chesler with Pro-Choice Marchers on 5th Avenue in the 80s
Pro-Choice Rally in the 80s with Bill Baird in Union Square, NYC
Pro-Choice March in the 80s with Bill Baird on 5th Avenue, NYC
Bella Abzug and Merle Hoffman Wait to Speak at Bryant Park, NYC
Rallying the Troops against Anti-Abortion Terrorism in 1985, NYC
At Mount Everest Seeking Enlightenment
Merle Hoffman Receiving the Newswoman's Club Front Page Award for Political Writing on Nov. 4, 2010
Merle Hoffman with her horse Hollywould 1998
Leaving parliament in London with my daughter Sasharina after addressing the committee on the status of abortion rights in Britain on March 2, 2012
Merle Hoffman with Charlotte Bunch 2012
Merle Hoffman with Kate Millet 2012
Merle Hoffman with Gloria Steinam and Bella Abzug circa 1990s
Merle Hoffman with Mahin Hassibi 2010
Merle Hoffman with Bill Baird 2012
Merle Hoffman with Christine Quinn 2013
The Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
In 2011, journalist, activist, and women’s health care pioneer Merle Hoffman endowed a director's position for sustained leadership of the Center.
Guide to the Merle Hoffman Papers, circa 1944-2012 and undated , bulk 1961-2000
The papers of Merle Hoffman span the years from about 1944 to 2001, with most of the papers dating between 1961 and 2001. The collection is arranged in the following series: Choices, On the Issues, Personal Files, Photographic Materials, and Audiovisual Materials. The bulk of the materials consist of the records of Choices Women’s Medical Center, a New York City women’s health clinic and abortion clinic co-founded by Hoffman in 1971, and the organizational records for On the Issues, a feminist magazine owned by Choices and overseen by Hoffman. The remainder of the collection consists of Hoffman’s personal papers, mostly related to her pro-choice activism.
In addition to her pro-choice activities, Merle Hoffman has been a vocal proponent of patient self-empowerment; an active supporter of various political candidates in New York City; and a feminist activist. The collection reflects these interests to varying degrees. The records of On the Issues magazine are especially useful as a source of writings on a broad range of feminist and other issues.