History (U.S.), 301 pages
Publisher: University of California Press, Jan 16, 1998
In this provocative volume, a passionate and diverse group of abortion rights proponents—journalists, scholars, activists, lawyers, physicians, and philosophers—chronicles the evolution of one of the most intensely debated issues of our time. Unique in its attention to so many aspects of the debate, Abortion Wars places key issues such as medical practice, activism, legal strategies, and the meaning of choice in the deeply complex historical context of the past half-century. Taking the reader into the trenches of the battle over abortion rights, the contributors zero in on the key moments and turning points of this ongoing war. Taken together, the historical and interdisciplinary perspectives collected here yield a complex picture of what has been at stake in abortion politics during the past fifty years. The essays clarify why so many women consider abortion crucial to their lives and why opposition to abortion rights has become so violent today. The essays illuminate a fundamental lesson about the nature of social change in the United States: that judicial decisions that overturn restrictive laws and establish new rights do not settle social policy and, in fact, are likely to spark severe and long-lasting resistance.