Cover: About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-First-Century America, from Harvard University PressCover: About Abortion in HARDCOVER

About Abortion

Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-First-Century America

Product Details


$29.95 • £26.95 • €27.95

ISBN 9780674737723

Publication Date: 03/27/2017


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

15 halftones

Belknap Press


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Clear and persuasive.—Margaret Talbot, New Yorker

Excellent… [Sanger] supports abortion rights, but [she] also presents the opposition to abortion fairly… Her observations are nearly always insightful and often nicely trenchant… Sanger is at her best and most original in discussing the secrecy surrounding abortions, which she sees as the biggest obstacle to public acceptance. Her argument is that even though abortion is legal, women who have an abortion tend to behave as though it weren’t. They keep it a secret even from their friends in a way that goes beyond privacy, and suggests fear of recrimination.—Marcia Angell, New York Review of Books

The abortion book I didn’t realize I was waiting for… Sanger (no relation to Margaret Sanger) digs into the roots of privacy around this personal decision and how it became more of a forced secrecy for so many… Sanger lays out the self-feeding loop of abortion silence—a fear of others finding out rather than a choice not to disclose. She examines post-Roe laws and court cases that have had direct or indirect implications for abortion restrictions to make her case that normalizing abortion could end this compulsory silence. The good news? It’s in our very capable hands… [Sanger] provides new tools and frameworks for forging ahead while knowing we are already on the right path.—Katie Klabusich, Rewire

Sanger makes a compelling case for how a private matter—choosing to have an abortion—has been so politicized and stigmatized that it has been transformed into something that women feel they must keep secret, lest they set themselves up for public shaming.—Jordan Smith, The Intercept

[Sanger] deconstructs the contemporary way abortion is debated, offering direction and suggestions for a new way to discuss it in the 21st century by removing the stigma silence produces. Sanger covers topics that include fetal imaging, parental consent, men and abortion, and assumptions about women who seek abortions. This is perhaps the best book ever written on the multiple facets surrounding abortion politics, law, and regulation.—D. Schultz, Choice

Carol Sanger understands that abortion is never an isolated event, but one that reflects the complicated realities around it. There is a great mind at work here, but one with a woman’s body, an understanding heart, and a hope that every child will be born loved and wanted.—Gloria Steinem

This remarkable book goes beyond abortion law and abortion politics to illuminate abortion as a lived experience, and a common one at that—a perspective far too often missing from a debate with no end in sight. An essential and timely warning to all of what happens when a constitutional right is narrowed down to invisibility.—Linda Greenhouse, author of Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun’s Supreme Court Journey

Sanger takes readers on an insightful, original, and eye-opening guided tour of the practices and ‘culture’ of abortion. Even as pro-life legislators enact laws that nominally aim to provide women with information, she shows that women already know what abortion is. They know because, as Sanger persuasively argues, abortion implicates everything we deem important—life, death, sex, family, freedom, equality, and more.—Michael C. Dorf, coauthor of Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights

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