Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now To Save Reproductive Freedom

Hachette. Jul. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780306925634. $29. SOC SCI
Kolbert and Kay, both attorneys who have spent their legal careers in service of reproductive justice, co-author a concise and pragmatic discourse on abortion rights. Their book is neither reassuring nor despairing, and the authors outline steps for activists to take in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by a conservative federal judiciary. Kolbert and Kay write that Roe’s overturn is an inevitability, not a fear or suspicion. Their book is not intended to convince anti-abortion stalwarts to change their minds; it is written as a blueprint for advocates of reproductive justice. The steps it outlines go beyond access to contraception or abortion clinics; taking a holistic approach, it emphasizes the need for universal health care and affordable child care. Kolbert and Kay note throughout the book that the people most impacted by a ban on abortion will be people of color and impoverished people in rural areas, as part of their argument that reproductive justice activism must factor in the needs of LGBTQ families and be trans-inclusive.
VERDICT The authors make clear that the ability to determine for oneself how and when to bear children is a human right and is essential to a person’s agency over their own life and future. An essential guide; recommended for all collections.
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