Synopses & Reviews
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, stories of limited access to abortion are still familiar; yet most people have little idea of just how inaccessible it has become. While a majority of Americans support safe and legal abortion, the pervasive stigma--cultivated by the religious right--continues to shame women and marginalize abortion providers in their own professional communities. Reproductive-health researcher Carole Joffe has studied abortion provision for more than thirty years. In Dispatches from the Abortion Wars, she relays on-the-ground stories of doctors grappling with the obstacles of providing abortion care for their patients: from skirting draconian state regulations to negotiating with intransigent insurance companies or having to beg superiors for the right to perform medically necessary abortions in-hospital. Joffe brings these examples to vivid life, reporting the lived experiences behind the polemics. Dispatches from the Abortion Wars also offers hope for real change, pointing the way to a more compassionate standard of women's health care--one that responds to the needs of the individual and trusts women to make their own moral choices.
"Sociologist Joffe elaborates on the violence, stigmatization and legal actions perpetrated against those providing, receiving or even tangentially involved with abortion, despite the protections due under Roe v. Wade. Joffe elucidates the human component of this contentious issue through exploring the hardships of medical professionals and health-care administrators, yet the author's near apotheosis of abortion providers weakens the credibility of her arguments. Furthermore, while criticisms of flamboyantly reactionary rhetoric might be warranted, at times Joffe's own language, such as references to women's health clinics as 'ground zero in the abortion wars,' can seem similarly overwrought. Joffe is at her best taking a more nuanced approach to the issue, as when she discusses her interviews with one nurse who considers herself prochoice but refuses to take part in the medical procedure. While the book provides ample confirmation of damaging actions taken by the movement against abortion providers and receivers, it fails to critically examine prolife ideology or substantiate claims that antiabortion activists have 'distract[ed] from fully identifying an appropriate sexual and reproductive agenda.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Surprising firsthand accounts from the front lines of abortion provision reveal the persistent cultural, political, and economic hurdles to access
While “abortion wars” may bring to mind the very real threat of anti-abortion violence, this timely book shows how a pervasive stigma—cultivated by the religious right—operates less dramatically but just as effectively to impede access by shaming women and marginalizing abortion providers in their own professional communities.
In Dispatches from the Abortion Wars, reproductive-health researcher Carole Joffe immerses readers in on-the-ground stories of doctors grappling with the obstacles of providing abortion care for their patients, while also offering hope for a more compassionate standard of women’s health care.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
is a professor at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California-San Francisco, and a professor emerita of sociology at the University of California-Davis. She is the author of several other books, including Doctors of Conscience.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
1 The Stigma of Abortion
2 “You Need a Community with You”: Becoming an Abortion Provider
3 The Clinics: Ground Zero in the Abortion Wars
4 Regulating Abortion
5 Hospital-Based Abortions: Chaos, Cruelty, and Some Accommodation
6 Abortion Patients and the “Two Americas” of Reproductive Health
7 “Every Woman Is Different”: What Good Abortion Care Looks Like
8 What Kind of America Do We Want?
Afterword: “Abortion Is a Perfectly Proper Noun”
Postscript The Legacy of George Tiller