A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
From noted feminist and longtime columnist for The Nation, award-winning author Katha Pollitt’s Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights presents a powerful argument for abortion as a moral right and social good. As the Supreme Court is set to overturn the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide, this urgent, controversial book 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.
Nearly fifty years after the Roe v. Wade ruling, “Abortion” is still a word that is said with outright hostility by many, despite the fact that one in three American women will have terminated at least one pregnancy by menopause. Even those who support a woman’s right to an abortion often qualify their support by saying abortion is a “bad thing,” an “agonizing decision,” making the medical procedure so remote and radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the everyday, turning an act that is normal and necessary into something shameful and secretive. Meanwhile, the rights once upheld by the Supreme Court are threatened to be repudiated and systematically eroded by state laws designed to end abortion outright.
Pro reaffirms the priority of a woman’s life and health, and discusses why terminating a pregnancy can be a force for good for women, families, and society. It is time, Pollitt argues, that we reclaim the lives and the rights of women and mothers.
“A refreshing and comprehensive look at abortion rights…Pro is a passionate plea—and a book that is needed now more than ever.”—Salon
“Ultimately, Pollitt is arguing not just for reproductive rights but for reproductive justice, which places the right to mother, or not, within the global context of human rights and social and economic justice, inextricable from the fight for universal health insurance, immigration reform and a host of social challenges.”—The Chicago Tribune
Even though abortion "is found in virtually every society going back at least 4,000 years," it continues to be a divisive, controversial issue in the United States. Pollitt (Virginity or Death!), a columnist at the Nation, regards abortion as a fact of life and makes an impassioned, persuasive case for understanding it in its proper context "the lives and bodies of women" and their families. With wit and logic, Pollitt debunks the many myths surrounding abortion, and analyzes what abortion opponents really oppose: namely, women's growing sexual freedom and power. She similarly addresses the notion of the "personhood" of the zygote/embryo/fetus and shows how, in spite of its small numbers ("only 7 to 20% of Americans tell pollsters they want to ban abortion"), the anti-abortion movement succeeds by focusing the debate on "life." As Pollitt explains, objections to abortion have only surfaced within the past 140 years, and she illuminates the "anti-feminist, anti-modern view of relations between the sexes" at the core of today's opposition, showing how its connection to patriarchal religious institutions provides much of its political power and funding. Finally, Pollitt brings readers up to date on the positive changes she sees in the current pro-choice movement the growth in the number of women sharing their abortion stories, and in the support for reproductive justice for targeted groups and offers suggestions of her own. With arguments that are both lucid and sensible, Pollitt successfully reframes the abortion debate to show that, "in the end, abortion is an issue of fundamental human rights."
Finally a sane and rational outlook so refreshing to see!!!