The genesis for Rock for Choice came from an interview that Sue Cummings did with L7 for the L.A. Weekly, in which the band said they were planning to advertise one of their upcoming local shows as "Rock for Coat Hangers," and donate the proceeds to a pro-choice group. Sue encouraged the band to consider expanding their gig to a larger scale--if famine in another country deserved a major benefit concert, why wouldn't abortion rights, something much closer to home? She asked the band if they would be willing to invite other artists to play the show, contacted several feminist organizations to find a sponsor, and arranged a meeting with the Feminist Majority when they agreed to participate.
The Rock for Choice concert series originated at about the same time as the Riot Grrrl movement, made up of a new generation of feminists and rock bands originating in Olympia, Washington. Both Rock for Choice and Riot Grrrl were reacting to the early 90s bombing of abortion clinics, and were often associated in the public's mind as a single movement, although few Riot Grrrl bands, with the exception of Bikini Kill, ever played Rock for Choice shows. But Rock for Choice formed an important cultural bridge between the baby boomer feminists of the 70s, who had organized the Feminist Majority, and the generation X feminists of the 90s music scene.
The concert series evolved into an organization managed by the Feminist Majority, which released a number of compilation albums featuring artists that supported Rock for Choice. The album Spirit of '73: Rock for Choice was named based on the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973.
The last Rock for Choice concert was in 2001.