In this urgent, controversial book, Katha Pollitt reframes abortion as a common part of a woman's reproductive life, one that should be accepted as a moral right with positive social implications. In Pro, Pollitt takes on the personhood argument, reaffirms the priority of a woman's life and health, and discusses why terminating a pregnancy can be a force for good for women, families, and society. It is time, Pollitt argues, that we reclaim the lives and the rights of women and mothers.
Katha Pollitt, the author of Virginity or Death!, is a poet, essayist, and columnist for The Nation. She has won many prizes and awards for her work, including the National Book Critics Award for her first collection of poems, Antarctic Traveler, and two National Magazine Awards for Essays and Criticism. She lives in New York City.
First in the new Historical Guides to Controversial Issues in America series, this volume studies the major events and periods in the development of the abortion debate throughout its history. Students will find a nonpartisan approach to landmark cases, acts and amendments, and Pro-Life and Pro-Choice advocates. A list of Pro-Life/Choice Web sites and other electronic resources for further research is included.
Written for high school and college students as well as for general audiences seeking to better understand opposing viewpoints, it gives readers essential background information and addresses persistent questions regarding the abortion debate. The new Perspectives chapter features the compelling voices of those engaged in the front lines of this battle alongside those of scholars from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Notable activists and leading advocacy groups are profiled, followed by the latest data on abortion rates and public opinion. Carefully curated documents and recommended news outlets, websites, documentaries, and academic readings invite continued exploration.
A separate chapter looks at abortion politics throughout the world and places the United States in a global context. Biographies of major players, extensive data and documents, and a bibliography of important resources make this an essential resource on one of the most controversial topics in our national dialog.
We know it simply as "the pill," yet its genesis was anything but simple. Jonathan Eig's masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters: the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love; the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband, the son of the founder of International Harvester and a schizophrenic; the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus, who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who, after he was approached by Sanger and McCormick, grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation; and the telegenic John Rock, a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as Enovid.
Spanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminist politics, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and briskly written, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, cultural, and scientific history.
These stories are difficult to read, because an abortion is an act of violence, harming not only the obvious victim—the unborn child-- but also the mother, the father, the doctor, and everyone else involved. But these stories also offer hope, for they show that anyone, no matter what part the person has played in an abortion, can start anew, can make amends for past mistakes. They demonstrate that the first step on that journey is telling the truth, as these courageous individuals do in these pages.
"Those of us that have worked in the abortion industry all live with a constant burden. We can't let our burden slide off of our shoulders; it is what keeps us on fire. It reminds us of why we fight so hard. We have seen death and evil in a way that most haven't—and we participated. But we are forgiven. He who has been forgiven much, loves much. And we love a lot. I am eagerly awaiting the day when we can call all abortionists and clinic workers former and repentant abortion providers."
— Abby Johnson, author