The following is a republished press release … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at


[fvplayer src=”″ loop=”fale” mobile=”″]

Downtown Ithaca Bingo
Shop, Dine, & Play To Win

ITHACA, N.Y. — Constance Cook was a Republican Assemblywoman who decriminalized abortion in New York State in 1970; in 1973 Roe vs. Wade was based on her work.

“Connie Cook: A Documentary” tells the story of Connie Cook’s life, and a community screening will take place at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in the Borg Warner Room at the Tompkins County Public Library.

This screening of the film by Sue Perlgut and Nils Hoover is sponsored by the Tompkins County Public Library, Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes and CloseToHome Productions.

Corporate sponsorship is provided by Carol Bushberg Real Estate, and The Jewelbox. The documentary is a project of Social Ventures and PEGASYS Studios. For more information on the film, please visit and This project is partially funded by a grant through the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.

More about Connie Cook

Constance Eberhardt Cook was a woman ahead of her time. She was a pilot, graduate of law school in 1943, and one of only a handful of female corporate lawyers in New York city during the 1940s.

Cook was an important historical figure in the fight for women’s rights during the 1960’s and early 1970’s when she represented Tompkins County as a Republican in the New York State Assembly — a time when only two other women served the state assembly.

Through the political process, Cook implemented legislation for broad-based public control of education and the decriminalization of abortion.

Her efforts regarding abortion became a critical model for the rest of the country. Mrs. Cook spent more than 10 years in the New York State Assembly, always aware of her constituents’ needs.

In 1974, she was the first woman vice-president of Cornell University and that same year Cook sued the Episcopal Church so that women could be priests — a battle that she won. Cook was a dedicated and innovative public servant, and many changes in American life came about because of her drive, determination, and humanitarianism.

About the documentary

This interview-driven documentary, completed in 2015, is filled with archival footage of Cook and others, and features a diverse cast of Cook’s family, friends, politicians, and colleagues.

About CloseToHome Productions

Sue Perlgut formed CloseToHome Productions in 2007. She produced, directed and co-wrote her first documentary 101 Ways to Retire—or Not!, seen on PBS, also an official selection of the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival in 2008 and recipient of the 2008 Mature Media Awards. Her second documentary “Beets and Beans: Living and Dying with Hospice” is a half-hour documentary released in 2010 about the hospice movement in the U.S., which was an official selection of the 2010 Detroit Windsor International Film Festival, the 2010 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, and the 2010 Emerging Filmmakers Film Festival in Rochester, N.Y.

Follow The Ithaca Voice on Facebook | Twitter

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.