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Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling 1st Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1607146711
ISBN-10: 1607146711
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

During the 1960s, "a conversation about the legitimate grounds for abortion" turned into "an argument about the legitimacy of government control over abortion," while support for decriminalizing the procedure continued to increase. The Pulitzer-Prize winning Greenhouse (Becoming Justice Blackmun) has covered the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years; together with Yale Law professor Siegel (Processes of Constitutional Decision Making) she has compiled a compelling review of the societal changes, incidents, and cases that led to the Supreme Court's historic decision. Readers today will likely be shocked by the conditions that women experienced before 1973: trips to Japan for abortions; the need to lie at every step; even the possibility of forced sterilization. The authors provide commentary and context on an impressive collection of documents, moving chronologically through every stage of abortion reform to create a compilation that will engage anyone with an interest in women's rights or judicial history.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Linda Greenhouse began covering the Supreme Court for The New York Times in 1978. With the exception of two years during the mid-1980's, during which she covered Congress, she served as the paper's regular Supreme Court correspondent until 2008. Previously, she covered local and state government and politics for the Times in New York, and was chief of the newspaper's legislative bureau in Albany. She has appeared as a Washington Week panelist since 1980.

She is a graduate of Radcliffe College, where she currently serves on the advisory committee to the Schlesinger Library on the History of American Women. She earned a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, and has several honorary degrees.

For her coverage of the Court, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism (beat reporting) in 1998. In 2004, she received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Reva Siegel is the Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law at Yale University.  Her publications include The Constitution in 2020 (edited with Jack Balkin, 2009); Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (with Brest, Levinson, Balkin & Amar, 2006) and Directions in Sexual Harassment Law (edited with Catharine A. MacKinnon, 2004). Professor Siegel received her B.A., M.Phil, and J.D. from Yale University, clerked for Judge Spottswood Robinson on the D.C. Circuit, and began teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is active in the American Society for Legal History, the American Association of Law Schools, the American Constitution Society, in the national organization and as faculty advisor of Yale’s chapter.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607146711
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607146711
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mariko M. Miki on January 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By presenting primary documents (fliers, handbooks, speeches, legal briefs), Before Roe v. Wade offers an in-depth look at the different voices that shaped the debate around abortion prior to the Roe ruling in 1973. Often, discussion of Roe v. Wade tends to obscure the political, legal, and social landscape before the case worked its way through the court system. Thus, Before Roe v. Wade seeks to illuminate the environment into which Roe landed -- revealing how the seeds of the contemporary abortion wars were in fact planted in the late 60s and early 70s. The book is full of surprising information about the lengths women went to to obtain safe abortions before they were legal (all the way to Japan!), the way that religious institutions and clergy considered abortion, the population control-dimension to the debate, and the cases and legal arguments that preceded Roe.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good collection of documents with some discussion that provides important insights on a controversial case for which many have an uninformed background.
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By Caroline Afonso on September 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was band new. I loved it.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erik L Oliver on January 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A powerful reminder of a time that is quickly fading from memory, this is a frank look at the years leading up to the Roe v Wade decision.
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