Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community

Faye D. Ginsburg, Author University of California Press $40 (350p) ISBN 978-0-520-06492-8
Contested sides of the enduring conflict over abortion and its importance in helping determine women's place in society are presented here by Ginsburg, associate professor of anthropology at New York University. In a scholarly, historically weighted study too specialized for general readers, the author relates the present debate to the changes wrought by economic and cultural developments that engendered modern feminism, along with the impact of legal, medical and political agendas on public attitudes towards abortion. Based on interviews with a pro-life and a pro-choice abortion activist, both of whom claim to represent women's real interests, Ginsburg contends that their viewpoints are largely derived from personal values, background and experiences of transition and difficulties in their own reproductive lives. Although she maintains that activists on both sides share many common concerns, she concludes that abortion remains a challenge to the concept of female gender identity linked to nurturance and domesticity. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-0-520-21735-5
Paperback - 350 pages - 978-0-520-06493-5
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 359 pages - 978-0-520-92245-7
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