Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Abortion Wars

If you are ever interested in a history of women's reproductive struggles (and you should be), Abortion Wars: A Half Century of Struggle -- 1950-2000 is one of the finest books I've read on the subject.  And before the FTC comes down on me, no, I did not receive this book to review.  I bought it because I'm interested in the subject.

You would expect a book like this to be lighthearted and full of feel-good essays on the simplistic issue of abortion.  Of course, it's not.  Hell, the publisher is University of California Press.  When has that publisher ever put out an easy read?  Never that I can think of, so this isn't beach reading, and I doubt a movie will ever be made of it.  (Some colleges apparently use it as a textbook, though.)  It is, however, a fascinating look at fifty years of reproductive struggles in this country.  With nearly twenty different write-ups on the subject, there's bound to be something new here for the armchair scholar.  If you are anti-abortion, however, it is highly unlikely this book is going change your views on anything, as most anti-abortionists I've met already have their minds firmly made up, as do most pro-choice folks.  This book is written for the pro-choice people.  It's not preaching to the converted, however.  It is seeking to educate and demonstrate just how far we've gone, but yet are still covering the same ground.

These days the issue of abortion really only comes around when there's an election to be won.  At least that's the only time the mainstream media really focuses on it.  If you were to use that as your barometer, doctors are no longer being shot, clinics aren't being targeted, and the right to choose seems as safe as your right to cable television.  The reality is a whole different picture, however.  Delving into this shows exactly what can happen when you let your guard down.  It's a lesson those who are pro-choice need to remember.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer:  Again, I did not get this to review.  And, if you click on a link, I may get a small commission.

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