Surprising firsthand accounts from the front lines of abortion provision reveal the persistent cultural, political, and economic hurdles to access
More than thirty-five years after women won the right to legal abortion, most people do not realize how inaccessible it has become. In these pages, reproductive-health researcher Carole Joffe shows how a pervasive stigma—cultivated by the religious right—operates to maintain barriers to access by shaming women and marginalizing abortion providers. Through compelling testimony from doctors, health-care workers, and patients, Joffe reports the lived experiences behind the polemics, while also offering hope for a more compassionate standard of women’s health care.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Dispatches from the Abortion Wars|
|Release Date: 01-01-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Beacon Press|
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|Parent title||Dispatches from the...|
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Dispatches from the Abortion Wars
Cliché though it may be, there really are abortion wars raging in the United States, wars fought on numerous fronts. The front that most resembles conventional warfare involves attacks on those who provide abortions. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, eight members of the abortion-providing community have been murdered, and numerous others have been stalked at their homes and churches as well as at their workplaces. Children of some providers are harassed at their schools. Antiabortion fanatics continue to this day to firebomb and vandalize clinics. Staff and patients at these clinics are subjected to constant picketing and often ear-splitting verbal harassment delivered through megaphones. As in other wars, opponents of abortion engage in intelligencegathering by videotaping those who enter abortion-providing facilities and photographing the license plates in the clinics’ parking lots.
But there are many other important fronts in the abortion wars. To an extraordinary degree, abortion dominates our national politics, often serving as the decisive issue in parties’ choice of candidates, in the nomination of judges at all levels of the judiciary, in the selection of political appointees to serve in federal agencies. Most strikingly, during the two presidential terms of George W. Bush, an individual’s stance on abortion was typically used to determine his or her fitness to serve in positions that had absolutely nothing to do with that issue—for example, a position on a drug advisory panel. The abortion wars have also had an impact on U.S. foreign policy, determining in some instances how much foreign aid a particular country wil...