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Abortion & Life Paperback – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933354593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933354590
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,642,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Activist, filmmaker (of I Had an Abortion) and co-author (Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future) Baumgardner dedicates her work to spreading awareness about abortion. Graced with black and white photo portraits by Tara Todras-Whitehill of women wearing Baumgardner's shirt, reading simply "I had an abortion," the emphasis is on the testimony of these patients, revealing not only how common the procedure is (one in three women, according to the Guttmacher Institute) but how diverse those women and their situations are. Baumgardner begins with a brief history of abortion legislation in America, from pre-Roe v. Wade restrictions to clinic workers and doctors protested, threatened and murdered (as in the case of Buffalo doctor Barnett Slepian). Still, as Baumgardner says, it's the record of "our lives that might provide the best road map to strengthening women's reproductive freedoms." Included is a comprehensive listing of abortion resources, and 10 percent of the book's profits go to the New York Abortion Access Fund.
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Review

Activist, filmmaker (of I Had an Abortion) and co-author (Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future) Baumgardner dedicates her work to spreading awareness about abortion. Graced with black and white photo portraits by Tara Todras-Whitehill of women wearing Baumgardner's shirt, reading simply "I had an abortion," the emphasis is on the testimony of these patients, revealing not only how common the procedure is (one in three women, according to the Guttmacher Institute) but how diverse those women and their situations are. Baumgardner begins with a brief history of abortion legislation in America, from pre-Roe v. Wade restrictions to clinic workers and doctors protested, threatened and murdered (as in the case of Buffalo doctor Barnett Slepian). Still, as Baumgardner says, it's the record of "our lives [that] might provide the best road map to strengthening women's reproductive freedoms." Included is a comprehensive listing of abortion resources, and 10 percent of the book's profits go to the New York Abortion Access Fund. -- Publishers Weekly, Sept. 2008

More About the Author

Jennifer Baumgardner is a writer, activist, filmmaker, and lecturer whose work explores abortion, sex, bisexuality, rape, single parenthood, and women's power. She is the Executive Director/Publisher at The Feminist Press at CUNY.

After five years as an editor at the feminist magazine, Ms.(1993-1997), Jennifer began writing investigative pieces for Harper's and The Nation, commentaries for NPR's All Things Considered, and contributing to magazines such as Real Simple, Glamour, Redbook, Babble, Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle.

In 2005 she created and produced the award-winning documentary I Had an Abortion. In 2013, she released her second film, It Was Rape, which tells the story of eight diverse women.

Jennifer and her work have been featured in venues from Oprah to NPR, and BBC News Hour to Bitch Magazine. She has keynoted at more than 300 universities, organizations, and conferences, including the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, Amherst College, Take Back The Night UW-Madison, and the New Jersey Women and Gender Studies Consortium, to name a few. In 2008, she became Writer-in-Residence at The New School, where she taught non fiction workshops for four years.

Jennifer is the author of five books: Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics (FSG, 2007, a Lambda finalist), Abortion & Life (Akashic, 2008), and the essay collection F 'em! Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls (Seal, 2011), as well as two best-selling books about feminism written with Amy Richards--Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (FSG, 2000) and Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism (FSG, 2005). She is the co-editor, with Madeleine Kunin, of We Do!: American Leaders Who Believe in Marriage Equality. In 2002, Jennifer and Amy founded Soapbox, Inc., a speakers' bureau that also produces week-long Feminist Camps and Intensives. Soapbox and its projects connect people hungry for feminism with resources and with one another.

Among other honors, she is a Jezebel 25, a Feminist Press 40 Under 40, and a recipient of the Stand Up for Reproductive Justice Award from the Feminist Women's Health Center of Atlanta. The Commonwealth Club of California honored her in their centennial year as a "Visionary for the 21st Century," commenting that "in her role as author and activist, [Jennifer has] permanently changed the way people think about feminism...and will shape the next 100 years of politics and culture."

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Jennifer lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. Knauber on November 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really explains the journey that abortion has taken over the past years. It includes stories of real women from all ages, walks of life, and eras who have had abortions. It sites cases, life experiences, and the true meaning of freedom that the ability to decide for ourselves to terminate a pregnancy affords. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, it is an interesting read. I talked about it so much, my husband read it too. He was brought up to believe abortion was a terrible thing, but now his mind is opened up to what it really is, how it works, and why women seek this option. I highly recommend this book.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By susan e. wiget on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Personal accounts are accompanied by portraits taken by photographer Tara Todras-Whitehill, including pictures of women as famous as Ani DiFranco and Gloria Steinem, wearing the "I had an Abortion" t-shirt. This volume is not about yelling in the streets or holding picket signs; it is not about being confrontational and aggressive toward anti-choice "activists." It is about presenting the facts of what women went through and showing how necessary abortion is in an imperfect world. As long as we are yelling at each other and threatening each other, rather than listening and talking calmly, we can't reach an understanding. Abortion & Life has a buddha-like, gentle approach to the subject of abortion, not using the "us and them" mentality that is so common but rather showing why abortion is important, in hopes that abortion's enemies will make some attempt at tolerance.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Aragon VINE VOICE on November 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that stays with you as your read it, and then when you finish it. I read this book chapter by chapter over the course of several days. I did this in order to process it, but didn't realize that was the plan. I've read other works by the author and have witnessed how at times her point of view can come across as one colored by certain types of privilege (skin color, class, education, and regionalism) and this book is no different.

For young women born after Roe, this book will give a brief, interesting history of life pre and post Roe. And, the vignettes are at times powerful and painful.

There are a few things that bothered me. At times the author makes certain claims that I really don't think she could as someone who hasn't had an abortion; yet her words read as if she was speaking for all women. While I've suggested the book to some of my students, I hasten to give it five stars.

I actually wish that Amy Richards or someone else had written this book. I think that AR or another's personal touch wouldn't have been so self-righteous or at least read as such by this reader. Basically, this book is good to begin conversations and debates.

This book has a wide audience--general readers and it could be assigned in history, women's studies, sociology, psychology, and health classes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bronx Book Guy on April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The cover photo of a pregnant mom to be suggests the charm of the book -- it both is a brief history of abortion and a collection of voices of those who had one. The author has other good stuff out there too.
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