What's next for women's autonomy? To mark four decades of women exercising the right to abortion, our contributors share ideas & actions in On The Issues Magazine Winter 2012.
Sharing the Wealth of Knowledge on Abortion
by Ria Sen and The Feminist Press
The passionate writers who record stories of abortion -- personal memories, histories, theory -- make the language of the reproductive rights movement available, and, perhaps more importantly, keep it alive and flourishing. The seven books described below, selected by the staff of The Feminist Press, serve to supplement the articles in this edition on ABORTION so that the conversation can continue even after your computer is turned off.
In addition, many of the fine writers in this edition, also have released important books on the subject, which we hope that you will explore. Their articles are linked at the Book List’s conclusion.
"Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom" by Merle Hoffman (The Feminist Press)
Merle Hoffman's smart and gripping memoir is riveting: a former classical pianist, a self-made millionaire and a feminist who found her life's work providing abortions, Hoffman has been a fearless crusader for women's right to choose.
Over the years, Hoffman has used her entrepreneurial spirit to build one of the most comprehensive women's medical centers in the country. Whether addressing the murder of an abortion provider like Dr. George Tiller or challenging women to understand their own power over their bodies and the language used to wield such power, Hoffman has been on the frontlines of the feminist movement, a fierce warrior in the battle for choice.
"Abortion and Life" by Jennifer Baumgardner (Akashic Books)
In Abortion and Life, Jennifer Baumgardner explores abortion rights in America, addressing the unifying experience of abortion within the diversity of women who have them. Through this book, Baumgardner presents accounts of women that have had abortions and touches on the complicated process of terminating a pregnancy. Abortion and Life is a realistic depiction of what it means to carry out the right to choose.
"This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor" by Susan Wicklund with Alan Kesselheim (PublicAffairs)
Dr. Susan Wicklund puts forward a touching account of her life as a women’s health provider and medical doctor with a "fundamental commitment to patients and to the cause of keeping reproductive rights safe and legal." This Common Secret includes Wicklund’s personal experience of abortion as well, descriptions of the dangers – and satisfaction -- she has encountered in her practice, the discovery of her own family’s history and her growing determination to stand up to anti-abortion bullies.
"Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States" by Rickie Solinger (Hill and Wang)
Ricki Solinger calls for a shift in language and feminist thought from that of “choice” to one of “right." In Beggars and Choosers, Solinger outlines the post Roe v. Wade era as one in which the language of choice is a market-driven concept. But a right, she believes, is inherent and deserved. She writes that historical distinctions between women of different races and classes have been reproduced and institutionalized within the pro-choice movement by labeling some groups of women as "good choice makers" and some as "bad." Beggars and Choosers is a succinct and thorough examination that challenges the status-quo.
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