Abortion & Life
Jennifer Baumgardner. Akashic Books, $16.95 (175pp) ISBN 978-1-933354-59-0
Activist, filmmaker (of I Had an Abortion) and co-author (Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future) Baumgardner dedicates her work to spreading awareness about abortion. Graced with black and white photo portraits by Tara Todras-Whitehill of women wearing Baumgardner's shirt, reading simply ""I had an abortion,"" the emphasis is on the testimony of these patients, revealing not only how common the procedure is (one in three women, according to the Guttmacher Institute) but how diverse those women and their situations are. Baumgardner begins with a brief history of abortion legislation in America, from pre-Roe v. Wade restrictions to clinic workers and doctors protested, threatened and murdered (as in the case of Buffalo doctor Barnett Slepian). Still, as Baumgardner says, it's the record of ""our lives that might provide the best road map to strengthening women's reproductive freedoms."" Included is a comprehensive listing of abortion resources, and 10 percent of the book's profits go to the New York Abortion Access Fund.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2008