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How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Sex, Virtue, and the Way We Live Now [Hardcover]

by Cristina Page
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 30, 2006 0465054897 978-0465054893 1
A pithy polemic bolstered by solid research, intellectual heft, and firsthand reporting, this is a book poised to change the debate over reproductive rights in this country wholesale. As activist and writer Cristina Page shows, the gains made by birth-control advocates (historically) and pro-choice organizations (currently) have formed the bedrock of freedoms few Americans would choose to live without. Now, not only is the future of legal abortion far from guaranteed, in many parts of the country ready access to many forms of contraception is in jeopardy as well. And that development, Page argues, should have everyone, regardless of moral or political persuasion, deeply concerned. For these basic freedoms are not just for the freewheeling gals of "Sex and the City," but are central to the lives of working mothers and fathers from Phoenix to Duluth, churchgoers and nonbelievers alike. Page crystallizes the thoughts and attitudes of a generation of women and men whose voices are seldom heard in the political arena. How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America is the first book to address the positive transformation our society has undergone because of our ability to plan when and if to have children. It also exposes the anti-choice movement's far-reaching-and dangerous-agenda. Fresh, bold, and stocked with counterintuitive arguments, this is a book bound to form the basis for heated conversations nationwide.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The abortion issue is a cover for a fundamentalist "anti-contraception" and "anti-sex movement," argues this vigorous broadside. In a well-researched and pointed critique of prolife excesses, NARAL official Page (The Smart Girl's Guide to College) details the multifaceted opposition the Christian right has mounted to a broad range of reproductive rights. Prolife groups, she notes, have fraudulently conflated contraceptives with devices or substances that cause abortion, championed pharmacists who refuse to sell contraceptives, and organized to block over-the-counter sale of "Plan B" emergency contraceptive pills. Attacking both feminism and premarital sex, she contends, they vilify working moms and push ineffective abstinence-only sex-ed curricula, and have even opposed a vaccine against the HPV virus, a major cause of cervical cancer, claiming it would promote promiscuity. The irony, she argues, is that prolifers' effort to restrict access to contraception actually increases the number of abortions. Against what she believes is the fundamentalists' dour procreationist ideology and animus toward sexual pleasure itself, Page celebrates the blessings conferred by contraceptives in liberating women, and their families, in our modern "pro-choice world," claiming that "regular sex brings people as much happiness as a $50,000-a-year raise." If sometimes a tad facile, her defense of the sexual revolution in upbeat—even patriotic—terms makes this a spirited, thought-provoking addition to the culture wars. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The passion of the pro-life movement extends beyond abortion opposition to an overarching desire to end contraceptive use and to restrict sex to procreation only, argues Page, director of a national pro-choice organization. In contrast, by supporting women's ability to control their reproductive lives, the pro-choice movement has helped to improve life for American women across a broad range of social and economic issues. She details the corrosive influence of pro-life politics on science, including lobbying to prevent FDA approval of an emergency contraceptive pill to be sold over the counter. The pro-life movement has political "muscle that extends across the globe," harming efforts to reduce family size in developing nations and to encourage advancement of women. Page outlines the threats to the Roe decision and the privacy rights that also protect all aspects of sexuality, from contraception to homosexuality. This is a well-researched and thoughtful look at the politics behind reproductive issues and the implications for all Americans, whatever their position on abortion. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (January 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465054897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465054893
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #984,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 90 people found the following review helpful
By Winston
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America isn't a history of the fading glory of the pro-choice and feminist movements. It's an incisive look at tomorrow's pro-life movement - and a chilling read. If you think that the prospect of overturning Roe is farfetched, or that it might calm the passions of the conservative movement, think again. Defeating Roe is just another step on the way to reinventing the American social order, with birth control, women's rights and personal privacy all in the cross hairs.

I began the book with an underlying feeling of safety. After all, a majority of American's support a woman's right to choose. Even in a worst case scenario, I knew that my home state would continue to provide abortion care in a post-Roe world. Beyond that, I had even secretly wondered whether the post-Roe world might be good for the Democratic Party since the right would be losing its biggest weapon.

Page's book blew away these fallacies quickly, quietly and without a look back. Before I knew it, Roe was the least of my worries, as the breadth of the pro-life agenda became apparent. One thing is for sure, it won't be someone else's problem - the issues at stake affect the life of every American. Hopefully, awareness will translate into action.

Cristina Page has managed the nearly impossible by swaddling an immense amount of meticulous research in fast paced prose that forced me to read How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America in one sitting. This is a book people should be talking about.
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62 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Pro-life" no more May 8, 2006
This is a really great book for anyone willing to keep an open-mind. I'm the type of person who likes to read about both sides of an issue. I'm a former seminary student who was a very "good" Christian. I graduated from a Baptist University with a degree in Biblical Studies. I then went on to attend seminary (I'm currently in my 3rd year of law school). I grew up attending pro-life rallies in my hometown. My mom even voluteered for a crisis pregancy center when I was younger. Needless to say, I have always been pro-life. However, this book may have changed my mind.

This book really surprised me. I had no idea that the pro-life people had an agenda far beyond preventing abortions. As established in the book, they really wish to control the morals/sexual habits of people, not just to prevent abortions. I learned that by opposing contraception, as almost all pro-life groups do, the pro-life movement actually causes more abortions.

I became interested in this book after reading "Freakonomics," which argues that legalizing abortion has actually lowered the crime rate in America, a statistic I found very interesting.

I still don't know how I feel about abortion itself, but I know that I don't agree with the far-reaching effects of pro-life agenda. I definitely will not support the movement anymore by automatically voting for Republicans based on the sole issue of abortion, as I've always done.

I would encourage any pro-life person who is really concerned with preventing abortions to read this book. Even if it doesn't change your mind about abortion, it will give you insight into the primary agenda of many pro-life groups. As a pro-lifer myself, I was shocked and disappointed that my own group may be contributing to the abortion problem rather than solving it.
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57 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, fact-filled, concise! April 1, 2006
Did you know that not a single anti-choice organization from Right to Life to Feminists for Life explicitly supports contraception? Thank you, mainstream media for not pointing this out! In this short and extremely readable manifesto, Cristina Page shows that the organized anti-choice movement is not just opposed to legal abortion: it also wants to limit women's access to birth control and emergency contraception, push "abstinence only" sex ed, make people around the world, even AIDS-ravaged Africa stop using condoms (they 'don't work,' you know), and promote the view that sex is for procreation only and that women belong in the home taking care of the multiple results. A few years ago, anyone who said this would have been dismissed as a paranoid. Recent events --pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions, the South Dakota abortion ban, shifts in AIDS funding in Africa from comprehensive locally-based groups to inexperienced Christian abstinence promoters-- have shown its truth.

Page argues that the pro-choice vision -- sex for pleasure and intimacy, not just for babies; marriage between equals; flexible gender roles -- is the modern one that most people want. But will they fight for it? Or let the anti-choicers run their lives?

A really good book and suprisingly fun,humorous and down to earth -- must reading for everyone who cares about what is happening to this country.

I am very disturbed by troubles people are apparently having with finding pro-choice books at Amazon. When I put the title of this book in Amazon's search engine without the hyphen in "pro-choice" I was told that no such book existed. Come on, Amazon! don't make it hard for readers to find what they're looking for just because someone in your vast organization has a bee in their bonnet--whether about abortion rights or punctuation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the Choir
I am going to state that my bias against this book was pretty strong. I have been pro-life since I knew what abortion was and never really looked back. Read more
Published 7 months ago by revoLucian1776
4.0 out of 5 stars Page After Page, Page Page-Turner
As a tenuously pro-choice advocate, I was hesitant to read this book because "The New York Sun's" endorsement printed on the cover says, "Cristina Page is the Ann Coulter of the... Read more
Published on June 28, 2011 by Franklin the Mouse
This book has nothing but the most foolish yet imaginative arguments to support baby killing. 50 million dead babies to avoid a few thousand potential muggings? Read more
Published on February 14, 2010 by JACK LOBO
5.0 out of 5 stars Cristina Page is brilliant
This book is a detailed look at how the pro-life movement not only is anti-abortion, but anti-contraceptives, and against any lifestyle that includes sex for pleasure. Read more
Published on February 10, 2010 by C. Luca
5.0 out of 5 stars "Pro-life"? More like "anti-sex," "anti-woman" and "anti-human."
If HOW THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT SAVED AMERICA - the title of Cristina Page's 2006 exposé of the religious right/pro-life movement's true agenda - sounds like liberal... Read more
Published on May 26, 2009 by Kelly Garbato
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book
Cristina Page's thesis is simple: with the majority of the anti-abortion movement, abortion, or prevention thereof, is not the core issue. Read more
Published on February 8, 2008 by Jay Young
3.0 out of 5 stars Reproductive Rights: Pro- Family or Anti- Family?
How the Pro Choice Movement Saved America is a celebratory book of sorts, written by a woman who has been fighting for reproductive and family planning rights for much of her adult... Read more
Published on November 13, 2007 by Bryan Carey
2.0 out of 5 stars Saved America?
Though well written and interesting I did not enjoy this book. It saddens me that this country constantly attacks pro-lifers. Read more
Published on April 26, 2007 by G. Kamel
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This book is wonderful. It is a definite eye opener and provides great information for anybody concerned about the important issue of Women's Right to her own body.
Published on February 22, 2007 by holabackpack
5.0 out of 5 stars This author is AMAZING
I had the honor of meeting Christina Page at NH NARAL's 34th anniversary Roe v Wade event. Let me tell you that this lady puts her money where her mouth is! Read more
Published on January 29, 2007 by Sarah
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Topic From this Discussion
Inaccurate info in Cristina Page's "How The Pro-Choice Movement Saved...
Patrick T. is playing pretty lose with the facts. In the study he cites, the continuing trend in the abortion decline was noted for only 2001 and 2002, the years in which Bush first took office. Bush's policies could not possibly have been responsible for a continuing of the sharp decline in... Read more
Sep 26, 2006 by Cristina Page |  See all 2 posts
amazon will not post truthful reviews
Well, your review is up now, and you don't seem to have made an effort to say much of substance, thanks all the same.
Apr 15, 2011 by John M. Kertis |  See all 3 posts
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