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Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom in the 21st Century Hardcover – January 20, 2004

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sanger, grandson of reproductive rights activist Margaret Sanger, is dismayed by the abortion debate's current stalemate, and in this pro-choice manifesto he asserts that pro-choice supporters face a difficult task if they want to persuade pro-life advocates to listen. He recalls being on a talk show where audience members were polled about their views before he spoke and then again after he finished. Although Sanger thought he made provocative and persuasive arguments, not one audience member was swayed. This indicates a larger problem, and Sanger posits that such ineffectiveness will harm the pro-choice camp in the future, as state legislatures enact pro-life legislation and more young people join the pro-life movement. After explaining why current methods aren't working, Sanger opines on righting the pro-choice movement's maladies. He suggests discussions that could change how those outside the pro-life camp view the issue. Including men in the conversation about reproductive rights would be a major step toward positive change, Sanger notes, and one that isn't currently being taken. And,
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"Thoughtful and eloquent...Sanger defines the arguments around abortion in a way which is clear, thorough, and mindbending..." -- Susan Cheever

"Well researched and readable, Beyond Choice should be required reading for both pro-choice and pro-life supporters." -- Governor Christine Todd Whitman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1st edition (January 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586481169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586481162
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,682,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Alexander Sanger's Beyond Choice is an extraordinary book. While I consider myself to be mostly pro-choice, I had never really asked myself the question why we should we have reproductive freedom in the first place. This is the question that Alex Sanger tackles in this provocative book. Sanger makes the case of why all reproductive freedom, including abortion, is moral because it helps humanity survive. The book discusses the difficulties and dangers, especially to women, of human reproduction and makes it clear that we evolved to have reproductive freedom because it helps women and children survive. Sanger is not afraid to say that there can be limits on choice, especially in the area of new reproductive technologies. Of more importance, the book sets out rationales and strategies for including men in the battle for reproductive rights, and defines what the role of government should and should not be in our private lives. I am convinced, as will all readers and writers be, that no one who wants to express any opinion on the issue of choice, or life, can do so without reading this page-turning and vitally important book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
He has some intriguing ideas that I have not heard elsewhere, although I have read a great on abortion. An example is the compelling argument he makes that teen pregnancy, for some, is a very rational choice.

What I don't like is that although he goes on and on about biology and reproduction, he never mentions the fact that our planet is gravely overcrowded and that continuing to breed at our current rate could well end in our extinction. He seems certain that all of us are interested in producing the highest quantity of surviving offspring, when in fact a significant percentage of us choose to not reproduce at all, even though we could successfully. How would he explain the existence of a movement promoting the extinction of the human race? (vhemt.org) I do not agree with his assertion that "we have a biological obligation to reproduce", and he does not defend this assertion very well.
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Format: Hardcover
Alexander Sanger clearly relies on his grandmother's reputation in order to sell his book. Rife with grammatical errors and uncited sources, Sanger constantly calls his own credibility as a competent researcher into question. His ideas ARE interesting, but without telling us where he gets his statistics from, he leaves those good ideas unsupported.

I am heartily glad I only paid $1 for this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The grandson of Margaret Sanger is also involved in reproductive issues, but he openly is unable to completely appreciate today's sociopolitical realities with the policy area. Instead, he uses his famous name to sell a book that does not contribute to the pro-choice cannon. The lack of quality research might even inadvertently toughen present organizing conditions for people such as myself who currently work the policy trenches without benefit of celebrity.

While he muses about the Sadie Sachs story which propelled his grandmother to open the first birth control clinic in America, he asks us to find common ground with the people who want nothing more than to see that myself and other women are returned to similar conditions.

Ultimate unworkability of that aforementioned public policy oddly does not deter Sanger from his daydream. He continues to believe that the rest of the world is universally awed by the tale and the rightwing is only interested in recriminalizing abortion. Current evidence from Planned Parenthood Federation of America itself indicates the American rightwing opposes all sexuality outside of procreation but cannot publicly act on their real sentiments for fear of massive public outrage.

To be fair, Sanger proactively identifies the numerous flaws within his grandmother's political organizing-which was genuinely considered progressive during her life. In an obviously personally difficult chapter, he concedes that she worked with Eugenicists and let the south warp birth control into a system to shrink African Americans. Because it would have been easier to tout the homogenized family history and ignore `alternate' perspectives such as Dorothy Roberts, he performs a great reader service.
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