A Berkeley Arts & Letters Program:
Forty years after the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, “abortion” is still a word that is said with either outright hostility or vague discomfort by many, this despite the fact that one in three American women will have terminated at least one pregnancy by the time they reach menopause. Even those who support a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy often qualify their support by saying abortion is a “bad thing,” an “agonizing decision,” thereby placing the medical procedure on a pedestal so remote and radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the everyday, turning an act that is often necessary, and often welcomed, into something shameful and secretive.
In this groundbreaking 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 clear, concise arguments, 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 social good. This is a book for those who support abortion rights but may not be exactly sure why and those in the “muddled middle,” who can’t quite bring themselves to advocate whole-heartedly for its legality.
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