Published by the Oregon Historical Society:
Michael Helquist, "‘Criminal Operations’: The First Fifty Years of Abortion Trials in Portland, Oregon." Oregon Historical Quarterly, Volume 116, Number 1 (Spring 2015).
Read article (PDF)
Although Oregon adopted its first anti-abortion law in 1854, Portland’s first prosecution of a “criminal operation” (abortion) did not occur for nearly twenty years. The Oregonian coverage of abortion trials from 1870 to 1920 reveal many obstacles prosecutors faced during that time, including lack of sufficient evidence and ambiguities in the state’s anti- abortion law. Through case studies and data collected from Oregonian articles during that time period, Michael Helquist explores Portland’s early abortion trials that “[highlight] the nuanced and disparate reactions of physicians who found themselves on the front lines of abortion services, policies, and enforcement.” Helquist argues that “an understanding of the conflicts over reproductive policy are as important to women’s and the nation’s history as the struggle to achieve woman suffrage and other rights of citizenship.”
Among the physicians who avoided legal problems for their abortion work was Marie Equi, who helped end unwanted pregnancies as part of her commitment to reproductive health services.
Michael Helquist, “Lewd, Obscene and Indecent”: The 1916 Portland Edition of Family Limitation. Oregon Historical Quarterly, Volume 117, Number 2 (Summer 2016).
The Oregon Historical Quarterly presents an analysis of the rare 1916 Portland version of ”Family Limitation,” the birth control pamphlet that significantly shaped American thought, values and behavior. The 16-page document gave thousands of Americans their first access to comprehensive information on preventing pregnancy. Historian Michael Helquist discusses the distinguishing features of this document, as revised by Portland doctor, lesbian, and activist Marie Equi at the request of birth control advocate Margaret Sanger.
Khris Soden and Michael Helquist (Drawn by Khris Soden). Adventures in Family Limitation (History Comic). Oregon Historical Quarterly, Volume 117, Number 2 (Summer 2016).
The first History Comic to appear in the Oregon Historical Quarterly depicts events that occurred during the 1916 visit to Portland by birth control advocate Margaret Sanger. “Adventures” relies on evidence and imagination to portray the lectures, arrests, and rally supporting Sanger. Historian Michael Helquist and historian/artist Khris Soden collaborated on this project.
Michael Helquist, "Portland to the Rescue: The Rose City’s Response to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire." Oregon Historical Quarterly, Volume 108, Number 3 (Fall 2007).
Full text available at JSTOR
The damage from San Francisco’s earthquake and fire in 1906 stunned the people of Portland, Oregon. The greatest natural disaster for nearly one-hundred years left 200,000 San Franciscans needing a massive amount of aid, but there was no federal agency or national Red Cross ready to respond. As firestorms raged across the Bay Area, Portlanders organized a comprehensive relief campaign.
"Portland to the Rescue" reveals this little-known episode of Oregon’s history and describes how the Rose City’s tradition of community organizing and “civic housekeeping” led to an outpouring of relief and medical care on a scale seldom seen before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. One focus of the story is the Oregon Doctor Train – a contingent of doctors and nurses who rushed to the stricken city. The only woman physician among them was Marie Equi, who later received a medal from the U.S. Army for her services.
Presented in the lecture series at the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University:
Michael Helquist. "KAJ Mackenzie, Marie Equi, and the Oregon Doctor Train: Portland’s Response to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake." Presented May 12, 2006.
Oregon doctors and nurses volunteered for potentially hazardous duty in San Francisco after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. This lecture describes the individuals and their experiences in the disaster zone, and the mixed reception for some of Portland's top medics.
Presented at the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library of the San Francisco Public Library:
Michael Helquist, "Lesbian to the Rescue." Presented April 11, 2006.
As part of San Francisco's series of centennial commemorations of the earthquake and fire disaster in 1906, "Lesbian to the Rescue" highlighted the role of Portland's increasingly prominent Dr. Marie Equi as part of the Oregon relief mission to the city. She supervised Oregon nurses stationed at the U.S. Army hospital in the San Francisco Presidio.
Published by The Oregon Encyclopedia
Michael Helquist, Marie Equi (1872-1952). Available online
Michael Helquist contributed a profile of Dr. Marie Equi to the Oregon Encyclopedia, the acclaimed online source of Oregon history:
Dr. Marie Equi was a fiercely independent Oregon physician who was engaged in the political turmoil and social change of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was a fearless advocate for woman's suffrage, labor rights, and free speech, and her raucous protests against imperialism and war gave her a reputation in Portland as one of the most outspoken agitators in town.For all her boldness, Equi was a dedicated caregiver who held her profession so dearly that even her close companions called her "Doc.
Published by the Gay Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)
Michael Helquist, “A Woman of Consequence: Dr. Marie Equi.” Available online
This early article about Marie Equi briefly re-enacts the explosive incident in post-frontier Oregon when Equi protested the mistreatment of her woman companion by horsewhipping Rev. O.D. Taylor, a local school superintendent.