What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom
This definitive account of the battle for reproductive freedom includes a bold new strategy to safeguard our rights, from two lawyers at the forefront of the movement.
Reproductive freedom has never been in more dire straits. Roe v. Wade protected abortion rights and Planned Parenthood v. Casey unexpectedly preserved them. Yet in the following decades these rights have been gutted by restrictive state legislation, the appointment of hundreds of anti-abortion judges, and violence against abortion providers. Today, the ultra-conservative majority at the Supreme Court has overturned our most fundamental reproductive protections.
With Roe toppled, abortion is now a criminal offense in nearly one-third of the United States. At least six states have enacted bans on abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy—before many women are even aware they are pregnant. Today, 89% of U.S. counties do not have a single abortion provider, in part due to escalating violence and intimidation aimed at disrupting services. We should all be free to make these personal and private decisions that affect our lives and wellbeing without government interference or bias, but we can no longer depend on Roe v. Wade and the federal courts to preserve our liberties.
Legal titans Kathryn Kolbert and Julie F. Kay share the story of one of the most divisive issues in American politics through behind-the-scenes personal narratives of stunning losses, hard-earned victories, and moving accounts of women and health care providers at the heart of nearly five decades of legal battles. Kolbert and Kay propose audacious new strategies inspired by medical advances, state-level protections, human rights models, and activists across the globe whose courage and determination are making a difference.
No more banging our heads against the Court’s marble walls. It is time for a new direction.
“Controlling Women… aims to revive robust discussion of reproductive rights – and not a moment too soon – by making it clear just how much is at stake in whether abortion remains legal….The heart of this book is the detailed menu of legal and policy changes that Kolbert and Kay propose to help secure women’s reproductive rights in a world without Roe…Controlling Women seeks to motivate the supermajority of Americans who support Roe to appreciate the imminent threat…and, more important, to get them actively involved in restoring universal access….The road map that Kolbert and Kay provide is one that all of us must follow—with urgency.”—Ms. Magazine
"A knowledgeable, essential reframing of an incendiary issue based on common sense, historical fact, and simple decency."—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“For anyone wanting to learn more about abortion access and the hidden hurdles, personal stories and [the] complete history of the fight for reproductive justice, Controlling Women is a must-read. Regardless of your knowledge of the topic, every feminist can learn more. Kolbert and Kay share their experiences since entering the reproductive justice fight from the legal point of view and provide an in-depth history of abortion restrictions with resources and narratives of abortion seekers….Controlling Women carefully explains the landscape of abortion access in America while keeping readers informed and encouraged to fight for better options. Pre-dating Roe v. Wade all the way to the modern age, Controlling Women provides a comprehensive look at what has changed but more so, what we are still waiting on.”—Rebellious Magazine
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