THE AMBIVALENCE OF ABORTION by Linda Bird Francke

THE AMBIVALENCE OF ABORTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Following her own abortion--a fourth child conceived unexpectedly as she and her husband were assaying new careers--Francke found the feminist line she had supported at variance with her own feelings. Her research on the issue confirms that unsettling realization: abortion is not a simple procedure, physically or emotionally. It is often painful, especially in the second trimester, with potentially serious complications; it invariably strains a relationship and often precipitates an end to it; most people suffer grief or guilt afterwards, sometimes for years. Francke interviewed hundreds of women--all ages, races, situations--and many men, and their stories demonstrate incontestably a common, enduring ambivalence and sobering afterthoughts that run the gamut from brusque dismissals of emotional involvement to her own shadowed-right-decision conclusion to the epidemic ignorance and chilling logic of teenagers: one opted for abortion because pregnancy would interfere with her baton-twirling, another regretted the two-weeks-after restriction on sexual activity. Right-to-lifers may resist and others will question her across-the-board discounting of unconscious motivation, even among those with more than one abortion experience and the most cavalier attitudes. But most readers will find this candid, balanced, and unambiguous in its findings.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1978
Publisher: Random House