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Real Choices: Listening to Women; Looking for Alternatives to Abortion Paperback – July 24, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Conciliar Press Ministries Inc. (July 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888212071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888212075
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
This fact alone should tell you something about this book.
Patrick T.
The experiences of many women who have had abortions, like those in Real Choices, clearly bear this out.
C.J.A.
I wish that everybody, on both sides of the argument over abortion, would read this book.
Craig K. Galer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Sammy Jo on July 16, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice-cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg."
With that line, Frederica Matthewes-Green has opened up a new line of dialogue about the tragedy which is abortion. Whether pro-choice or pro-life, everyone agrees that abortion should be rare. But the debate about abortion has rarely moved on to ask what we might all do to make abortion rare. Matthewes-Green has continued on in this direction by conducting an extensive research project inquiring into the circumstances which lead women to choose abortion. REAL CHOICES presents her findings, which should serve as a basis for dialogue about what we all can do change a world in which 1,500,000 women every year seek abortion in the United States alone.
She used a combination of surveys, and most poignantly, discussion groups to listen to women reflect on the life situations that forced them into abortion. The stories are heart-rending. Too often, women are forced into abortion by the fathers, by their parents, by their counselors, and by their friends. The procedure itself is violent, not just for the life which is destroyed, but for the woman who experiences it. Many women seek out abortion because they feel they have no other choice.
REAL CHOICES asks us to think harder about ways in which we could offer women more positive options.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C.J.A. on January 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
It's rare to find a book like this one, commended by people as diverse as pro-choice strategist Naomi Wolf and pro-life activist Helen Alvare.... In a passage often quoted by pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike, Mathewes-Green once said: "No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg." Real Choices clearly illustrates, through survey research and "listening group" discussions, that women who have had abortions definitely believe abortion is a miserable "choice." Why do women have abortions? (Many pro-lifers and pro-choicers will be surprised by the answers.) Can we use women's actual responses to work to provide better alternatives from which to choose? (So women won't feel like "trapped animals" to begin with.) These are Mathewes-Green's crucial questions.I strongly recommend this book to anyone concerned about the health and wellbeing of women, all pro-choicers and all pro-lifers. I believe you'll find Real Choices pleasantly easy-to-read and fascinating as well as informative. Feminists in the classic tradition of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul have always opposed abortion because it perpetuates the marginalization, exploitation, and abuse of women. The experiences of many women who have had abortions, like those in Real Choices, clearly bear this out. For more reading on this topic, check out Prolife Feminism Yesterday and Today edited by Mary Krane Derr and Pro-Life Feminism: Different Voices edited by Gail Grenier Sweet.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By cdunigan@hotmail.com on March 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
The author shares the insights of focus groups all over the country, exploring the reasons they chose abortion and what circumstances could have helped them to have chosen otherwise. What they had to say was surprising: that it was not financial circumstances, or even logistics, that led them to the abortion clinic, but lack of support for the pregnancy among those closest to them. Real Choices challenges the assumption that women need abortions or even choose them for rational reasons; rather, it raises the question of whether they actually are pressured into abortion because of the laziness and disinterest of their loved ones. Real Choices is a disturbing yet heartening read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Craig K. Galer on December 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I wish that everybody, on both sides of the argument over abortion, would read this book. Frederica Mathewes-Green sees the problem clearly, and the approach she takes here offers real hope that transcends the political shouting matches we've had for the past 30+ years.

She captures the problem from the right - everyone agrees that it's a baby, that argument is pretty well settled - and yet women still seek and have abortions; why? Just to ask that question leads in some very constructive directions, and Ms. Mathewes-Green follows them through.

She is very perceptive from a larger social perspective - "Any society that pits mothers and children in a fight to the death is going insane."

Her gentle, irenic tone, and her compassion for women who "want an abortion the way an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg", are especially striking. We have come to expect, over the years, that opposing sides in this argument simply see each other as evil, but she refuses to do that, seeking instead to find common cause with her 'friends on the other side' - is there *anything* we can agree on?

Frederica Mathewes-Green cuts through the rhetorical fog and gets at the heart of the problem. If more people could adopt her approach, there might be hope for real progress on a maddening problem.
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More About the Author

Frederica Mathewes-Green writes mostly about the Eastern Orthodox Church; she and her family converted in 1993, and her husband, Fr. Gregory, is pastor of the church they founded near Baltimore. In addition to her 10 books, she has published over 700 articles and opinion pieces. Topics range from movie reviews to humor to marriage and family, with particular focus on the pro-life cause; she is a past vice-president of Feminists for Life. She has provided regular columns and commentary for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Religion News Service, Christianity Today, Beliefnet.com, BreakPoint, Our Sunday Visitor, National Review, Odyssey TV Network, and Ancient Faith Radio. For a year, she served as a consultant for Veggie Tales. She has been interviewed by news media almost 700 times. She travels frequently to give talks at conferences, colleges, and churches--over 500 events so far. She can type big numbers. Here are a few more: 300, 550, 1060. Didn't even break a sweat. Here's some more: 800, 930, 322. OK, that's enough for now. Inspiration doesn't always strike when you tell it to, yknow.

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