“We were all,” says Diana Hamann, “like most women in Evanston, all stunned.”

And, adds Rachel Hershinow, “there was a lot of sadness, anger and feeling helpless.”

And so Hershinow, Hamann, and several other women who own Evanston businesses “met and we decided to do something,” Hershinow says, to react to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion.

The business owners got together about ten days ago and formed a group called Evanstonians for Reproductive Freedom.

“We made up the name on the spot,” Hershinow explains.

Their goal, through a variety of fundraising activities, is to contribute $100,000 to Planned Parenthood.

Certainly deep-blue Evanston is a place where pro-choice fundraisers should be able to succeed.

“There is strength in numbers,” Hershinow notes.

“Evanston is such a diverse and progressive community. We’re lucky to live here.”

Besides organizing a GoFundMe drive, the business owners are piggybacking on a number of already scheduled events, with part or all of the proceeds now slated for Planned Parenthood.

The month-long series of events begins Sunday at the Custer Street Oasis, where Hamann’s Wine Goddess is putting on a “Old School Vinyl Dance Party.”

There will also be retail-related fundraisers, with participating merchants donating a portion of sales to the cause.

And on Aug. 20, the Nasty Women Art Show will direct what is sold to Planned Parenthood as well.

Considering Evanston’s politics, Hamann says “I think $100,000 is too small.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Join the Conversation


  1. “Evanston is such a diverse and progressive community. We’re lucky to live here.”

    Would the “diverse and progressive” community tolerate those who are pro-life?

    1. Yes as long as pro-lifers are content to apply those views to their own decisions (ie, if you’re opposed to abortion, don’t have one) and not attempt to impose their views (in other words, be intolerant themselves) of others. Deal?

  2. Do all women who own businesses in Evanston endorse destroying our youngest, most vulnerable humans: poisoning them with chemicals; dismembering them with forceps; stabbing them through the cranium with scalpels; sweeping the tiny tortured remains into medical waste bags? “Reproductive Freedom.” For abortion’s tiny victims the “freedom” to die grisly deaths at the hands of cruel or simply thoughtless older humans. How sad this all is.

    1. Dear EV20, arguing with anything you say will be hard, its a challenge for you to see beyond the tiny beings that are easy to stick our own personal morality to. They are sinless and pure and haven’t gotten into the mess of real humanity. Like their mothers who are imperfect beings struggling with difficult decisions. They are someone we can “save” who are “faultless” and haven’t messed anything up yet, so don’t deserved to be punished like difficult, imperfect adults. It’s a hard thing to wrap one’s head around why we get so involved in other people’s business because we find their decisions unfair and ugly and want to control what they do in their lives. But its easy to see why we are attracted to these blameless beings. Unlike their very alive mothers and the ugly feelings they invoke. The ones we blame and pass judgement on. The ones we attach unflattering names to. It’s ok to judge them, they’re already grimey and soiled, not like these unrealized beings that haven’t stepped a foot into the dirt of the living, sinning masses. I hope you can find compassion in the very gray areas of life and wonder perhaps why someone might make the difficult choice to end a pregnancy. Or why a child might need one. Or think of the mothers who will be forced to give birth to already dead babies or ones who are already in pain in the womb and won’t live more than a few hours. I hope you can open your heart to the difficult situations that are easier to turn away from, that hurt tremendously to look at, and realize most people are doing the best they can. Including women who choose abortions.

  3. Way to activate, Women Business Owners!
    I have developed a proposal for an area wide Evanston ProChoice Rally and March to garner support, provide encouragement, and encourage added long term fundraising for Pro-Choice organizations.
    Interested readers,, please contact me for more information.
    Gretchen Brewster
    United we stand

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