Books about Abortion Rights

By Coll Rowe | July 12 2022 | Political ScienceHistoryHuman Rights

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, we have prepared a book list that includes titles on the history of abortion rights and the people who fought for them.

Killing the Black Body
Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
This is a no-holds-barred response to the liberal and conservative retreat from an assertive, activist, and socially transformative civil rights agenda of recent years--using a black feminist lens and the issue of  the impact of recent legislation, social policy, and welfare "reform" on black women's--especially poor black women's--control over their bodies' autonomy and their freedom to bear and raise children with respect and dignity in a society whose white mainstream is determined to demonize, even criminalize their lives.   It gives its readers a cogent legal and historical argument for a radically new , and socially transformative, definition of  "liberty" and "equality" for the American polity from a black feminist perspective.
$18.00 US
Dec 29, 1998
400 Pages

The Means of Reproduction
Sex, Power, and the Future of the World
"Think of Goldberg as the Al Gore of a sexual equality crisis. Reproductive freedom is not just a matter of justice, it's a matter of survival." - The American ProspectNew York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg's brilliant investigation of the global struggle over women's reproductive rights—"the worldwide battle between the forces of modernity and those of reaction, being fought on the terrain of women's bodies"Through Goldberg's meticulous reporting across four continents, The Means of Reproduction highlights the past and present of feminist activism around the world. In the face of a new wave of authoritarianism, we can look to the stories within this book—from an abortion provider turned health minister of Ghana to survivors of domestic abuse in India to pioneers of access to birth control throughout the Global South—as both blueprint and inspiration. With broad historical scope and lucid prose, Goldberg's analysis demonstrates that women's rights are key to flourishing societies.
$24.00 US
Mar 30, 2010
272 Pages
Penguin Books

The War on Choice
The Right-Wing Attack on Women's Rights and How to Fight Back
An eye-opening look at the right-wing strategy to reverse the gains American women have made, chronicling the actions at the highest levels of government to turn back the clock on women’s rights With religious extremists in key decision-making posts and our federal judiciary filled with appointees whose values are drastically out of step with the pro-choice sentiments of the majority of the American people, abstinence-only sex education is now the rule, ideology has trumped science in domestic and global health policy, and reproductive freedoms are perilously close to toppling. But while many of the individual facts are known, no one until now has connected all the dots and drawn the Big Picture that shows exactly how radical and how successful this quiet revolution has been. Judge by judge, law by law, and appointee by appointee, The War on Choice speaks the truth about what is happening, and also tells the stories of some of the women whose lives have been affected by these court decisions and federal policies. Combined with a hands-on plan of action for those who want to raise their voices in protest, this book will be riveting reading. And there is no one better equipped to write about the insidious, step-by-step chipping away of rights, or about what we can do to fight back, than Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Her thirty years of work with the organization combined with her personal experience—as a woman who came out of the same West Texas political landscape as did George W. Bush but faced a very different economic and social reality as the mother of three children by the age of twenty—make her the ideal spokeswoman for those who are alarmed by the current political climate. This book will be a wake-up call, describing in jaw-dropping detail the story of what the anti-choice movement is doing to the rights to birth control, abortion, and privacy.
Dec 18, 2007
352 Pages

New Handbook for a Post-Roe America
The Complete Guide to Abortion Legality, Access, and Practical Support
A completely new edition--with a new introduction by Amanda Palmer--of Robin Marty's best-selling manual on what to do *now that* Roe v. Wade has been overturned.
$17.95 US
Mar 30, 2021
320 Pages
Seven Stories Press

Bodies on the Line
At the Front Lines of the Fight to Protect Abortion in America
Longlisted for the Reading the West Book AwardsA powerfully empathetic and impeccably researched look at abortion clinic escorting, which Rebecca Traister (New York Times bestselling author of Good and Mad) calls “one of the most under-covered and crucial, lifesaving, rigorous forms of activism out there."
$26.00 US
Apr 05, 2022
304 Pages

Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
A Selection
National Indie BestsellerThe trailblazing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her own words. Her most essential writings on gender equality and women's rights, reproductive health care, and voting and civil rights, now available in a short, accessible volume as part of the new Penguin Liberty series.A Penguin Classic
$15.00 US
Sep 08, 2020
176 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Girls Who Went Away
The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade
The astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade.“It would take a heart of stone not to be moved by the oral histories of these women and by the courage and candor with which they express themselves.” —The Washington Post“A remarkably well-researched and accomplished book.” —The New York Times Book Review“A wrenching, riveting book.” —Chicago TribuneIn this deeply moving and myth-shattering work, Ann Fessler brings out into the open for the first time the hidden social history of adoption before Roe v. Wade - and its lasting legacy. An adoptee who was herself surrendered during those years and recently made contact with her mother, Ann Fessler brilliantly brings to life the voices of more than a hundred women, as well as the spirit of those times, allowing the women to tell their stories in gripping and intimate detail.
$18.00 US
Jun 26, 2007
368 Pages
Penguin Books

Her Body, Our Laws
On the Front Lines of the Abortion War, from El Salvador to Oklahoma
With stories from the front lines, a legal scholar journeys through distinct legal climates to understand precisely why and how the war over abortion is being fought.
$18.00 US
Jan 08, 2019
192 Pages
Beacon Press

A Concise History
The development, manufacturing, and use of contraceptive methods from the late nineteenth century to the present, viewed from the perspective of reproductive justice.The beginning of the modern contraceptive era began in 1882, when Dr. Aletta Jacobs opened the first birth control clinic in Amsterdam. The founding of this facility, and the clinical provision of contraception that it enabled, marked the moment when physicians started to take the prevention of pregnancy seriously as a medical concern. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Donna Drucker traces the history of modern contraception, outlining the development, manufacturing, and use of contraceptive methods from the opening of Dr. Jacobs's clinic to the present. Drucker approaches the subject from the perspective of reproductive justice: the right to have a child, the right not to have a child, and the right to parent children safely and healthily.Drucker describes contraceptive methods available before the pill, including the diaphragm (dispensed at the Jacobs clinic) and condom, spermicidal jellies, and periodic abstinences. She looks at the development and dissemination of the pill and its chemical descendants; describes technological developments in such non-hormonal contraceptives as the cervical cap and timing methods (including the “rhythm method” favored by the Roman Catholic church); and explains the concept of reproductive justice. Finally, Drucker considers the future of contraception—the adaptations of existing methods, new forms of distribution, and ongoing efforts needed to support contraceptive access worldwide.
$15.95 US
Apr 07, 2020
264 Pages
The MIT Press

Without Apology
The Abortion Struggle Now
An indispensable guide to abortion access in America, and a necessary argument for building a fighting feminist movement to protect women's rights
$17.95 US
Oct 01, 2019
208 Pages

Generation Roe
Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement
Strong support among women was key to Obama’s reelection. According to author Sarah Erdreich, it is time for Barack Obama, forty years after Roe v. Wade, to finally help demystify abortion. One-third of all American women will have an abortion by the time they are 45, and most of those women are already mothers. Yet, the topic remains taboo. In this provocative book on the heels of the Planned Parenthood controversy, Erdreich presents the antidote to the usual abortion debates.
$16.95 US
Mar 26, 2013
272 Pages
Seven Stories Press

Trust Women
A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice
In an age in which women's reproductive rights are increasingly under attack, a minister and ethicist offers a stirring argument that abortion can be a moral good.
$18.00 US
Feb 26, 2019
248 Pages
Beacon Press

A haunting meditation on memory and trauma by the award-winning French memoirist
$14.95 US
May 14, 2019
96 Pages
Seven Stories Press