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Abortion: The A Word Paperback – October 19, 2006
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HERE S A BOOK THAT ONLY SHE COULD WRITE There were the death threats. There were mornings she felt uneasy about starting her car. There was the church official who called her public enemy number one of the unborn. She could handle it. It came with the territory. It came with being the most outspoken advocate for abortion rights in Rhode Island. Mary Ann Sorrentino was executive director of Planned Parenthood in the most Catholic state in the country. She knew there would be ugly, sometimes vicious fallout. She was a Catholic working to provide women with a choice her church considered the darkest sin. But the church went over the line when it tried to draw her 14-year-old daughter, Luisa, into the crossfire. The story is told in a book with a long title The A Word: Abortion: Real Women, Tough Choices, Personal Freedom that Sorrentino has written to remind us that abortion remains legal but under siege. There are two generations who really don t know, who don t understand, she said as we discussed her new book yesterday. They ve never known anything but freedom of choice. They don t know they might lose it. There is a history here of hard choices and spiritual conflict and women who often walked a gauntlet of protesters to reach the clinic door. Sorrentino uses composites of many of the women she knew during her years at Planned Parenthood to tell much of the story. Sorrentino, who was a familiar voice in talk radio in Rhode Island before moving on to become a syndicated columnist, had been considering a book on politics, a handbook for Democrats perhaps. But others could write that book. This book is hers alone. She is the one who was director of Planned Parenthood from 1977 to 1987 when it opened the first outpatient abortion clinic in the state. And she is the one who created her very own precedent in canon law when she was excommunicated by the Catholic Church in 1985. The excommunication came at the same time that her da --The Providence Journal
About the Author
Mary Ann Sorrentino, a leading abortion rights advocate and former Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island, was publicly declared excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and called public enemy number one to the unborn. After leaving Planned Parenthood she went on to become the top-rated talk host on Rhode Island s flagship radio station WPRO where she worked for 12 years. During that time she also had a weekly television show and won several Associated Press Awards She was routinely listed as one of the country s top talk show hosts.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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An excellent view on the total picture of abortion and the support a woman needs when deciding to go forward.
Having lived during a time when legal abortion was not available to women, my mom was acutely aware of the consequences of not being able to avail oneself of qualified medical personnel in such a situation.
"The A Word" reminds us all to continue the fight to keep safe and legal abortions available to all who choose to end their unwanted pregnancies through termination.
This one of those stories. Not only is it fascinating to realize what was going on behind the scenes in the fight for reproductive rights; it's compelling reading to understand what one courageous woman actually did and endured on a personal level, to benefit so many.