After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate by Mary Ziegler

By Mary Ziegler

40 years after the U.S. perfect courtroom passed down its determination legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade maintains to make headlines. After Roe: The misplaced heritage of the Abortion Debate cuts throughout the myths and misunderstandings to provide a clear-eyed account of cultural and political responses to the landmark 1973 ruling within the decade that undefined. The grassroots activists who formed the dialogue after Roe, Mary Ziegler indicates, have been way more fluid and numerous than the partisans dominating the controversy today.

In the early years after the choice, advocates on each side of the abortion conflict sought universal flooring on concerns from being pregnant discrimination to fetal learn. Drawing on documents and greater than a hundred interviews with key contributors, Ziegler’s revelations complicate the view that abortion rights proponents have been insensitive to bigger questions of racial and sophistication injustice, and reveal as comic strip the concept abortion rivals have been inherently antifeminist. yet over the years, “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion” positions hardened into “pro-choice” and “pro-life” different types in accordance with political pressures and compromises. This more and more contentious back-and-forth produced the translation now taken for granted—that Roe used to be essentially a ruling on a woman’s correct to choose.

Peering underneath the skin of social-movement struggles within the Nineteen Seventies, After Roe finds how actors at the left and the suitable have this present day made Roe a logo for a spectrum of fervently held political opinions.

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Extra info for After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate

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6 Other pro-lifers approved of, or at least did not oppose, some recent social and cultural changes. These abortion opponents tended to define themselves by their support for a particular vision of a caring society: fighting for an expanded social welfare net, broader rights for the poor and for vulnerable minorities, and certain reforms championed by legal feminists. Other movement members fell somewhere between these two extremes, viewing the women’s movement, the sexual revolution, and contraception as being independent or even irrelevant issues.

75 For legal scholars, social-movement responses to Roe offer important lessons about the relationship between the courts and the larger American society. The legal literature frames Roe as an example of the dangers created by judicial review for the American polity, as a case study on the limited value of litigation, or as a lens through which judges can study the relative merits of different interpretive methods. As do social-movement scholars, however, legal academics use Roe as a symbol for many things, from the recognition of reproductive rights to the intervention of courts in divisive debates.

This Introduction situates the Supreme Court’s decision and the years immediately following it in the broader context of reproductive politics. As this context makes clear, the post-1973 abortion wars, like the struggles of earlier periods, reflect both the influence of long-term trends and the choices made by politicians and movement members. In the decades before the Roe decision, movements focused on family planning or abortion made room for individuals with very different tactical priorities and ideological visions.

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After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate by Mary Ziegler
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