Review by Library Journal Review
Nearly all aspects of sexuality and reproduction provoke bitter debate at various levels of government. Solinger (Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America) provides a primer-like structure, typical of the "What Everyone Needs To Know" series from Oxford, to help readers understand the history and complexities of all facets of the issues. Although most people think first of abortion when they hear "reproductive politics," the issues addressed here are much broader, emcompassing contraception, adoption, foreign aid, and environmental pollution's influence on fertility and fetal health. Using a question-and-answer format, Solinger itemizes a topic, then provides a concise, unbiased explanation of the historical (e.g., while before the mid-19th century, a woman could legally ask a physician or midwife to terminate her pregnancy, by 1910 almost every state had criminalized abortion), political, legislative, and judicial elements surrounding the issue. She also addresses the unsavory policies of forced sterilization that have been inflicted on minority, impoverished, and mentally challenged populations. Her extensive source documentation and suggested-reading list increase the book's value. VERDICT Researchers interested in the full context of abortion rights and other reproductive issues will appreciate this helpful guide.-Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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