Abortionist

Rickie Solinger, Author
Rickie Solinger, Author Free Press $22.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-02-929865-7
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Paperback - 265 pages - 978-0-520-20402-7
Open Ebook - 253 pages - 978-1-4391-0575-7
Ebook - 265 pages - 978-0-520-91742-2
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This compelling study of abortion as practiced before Roe v. Wade legalized it in 1973 focuses on the skillful, doctor-trained, compassionate Ruth Barnett, who allegedly performed 40,000 illegal operations between 1918 and 1968 without losing a patient. An empathetic Solinger (Wake Up Little Susie) records Barnett's career and life against the backdrop of the Depression and WWII-especially busy times for willing abortionists among physicians, nurses and midwives, along with ``back alley practitioners'' often employed by racketeers who exploited antiabortion laws. Portland, Oregon's ``Queen of Abortionists,'' Barnett practiced openly in her clinic until post-WWII ``crime hysteria'' forced abortion into the shadows. Barnett, 74 and suffering from melanoma, was released from her third prison term shortly before her death in 1969. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
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