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THE CHOICES WE MADE: 25 Women and Men Speak Out Ab by Anna Bonavoglia

THE CHOICES WE MADE: 25 Women and Men Speak Out Ab

By Anna Bonavoglia

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1990
ISBN: 394-58463-5
Publisher: Random House

Pro-choice oral history documenting personal experiences--of celebrities, mostly--with illegal and legal abortion over the past 60 years. Old and young, rich and poor, black and white, celebrities and unknowns--the voices vary, but all the women and men represented here have been changed in some way by encounters with abortion. Included are Jill Clayburgh, Whoopi Goldberg, Rita Moreno, Polly Bergen, Norma McCorvey (the real Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade), Linda Ellerbee, Grace Paley, Ursula LeGuin, Kay Boyle, and Elizabeth Janeway. Only two remain anonymous. Their stories, collected by Bonavoglia, a women's rights activist and journalist, and told mainly in spoken words recorded on tape rather than created as finished pieces of writing, have a powerful cumulative impact. Individually, the women's experiences range from a self-induced abortion with a hanger in a public toilet to a clean and safe procedure performed under anesthesia by a gynecologist in a hospital. One man tells of watching his mother die after an illegal abortion some 60 years ago, an experience that still fills him with anger, and another tells of his feelings about the law and abortion when his daughter became pregnant as a result of a gang-rape. Arguments are made not just for the right of women to control their own bodies, but also for better sex-education, wider access to birth control and reproductive health services, and greater emotional support for those who choose to end a pregnancy rather than give birth to a severely disabled child. Not for the fainthearted, but a clear and strong statement by women's-rights advocates.