About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-first Century America
Jane Kentnor Dean and Toni Holland Liebman recently attended a Wellesley in NYC meeting to hear Carol Sanger, ’70 speak about her newest book: About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-first Century America. (Harvard University Press 2017)
Carol is the Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.
It was a most enlightening evening: first the talk by Professor Sanger followed by a lively discussion among Wellesley alum of all ages.
We were reminded that the stigma and hostility towards women who undergo abortions has prevented most from revealing the event which, in turn, distorts public and political discussion. Sanger impressed upon us the distinction between privacy, a form of nondisclosure based on the need to protect personal information, and secrecy, which becomes a defense against the many harms of disclosure.
In many states, laws have become increasingly stringent and tend to paint abortion not as a medical decision but as a disreputable, immoral choice, however, Sanger sees some hope that attitudes might be changing ever so slightly. New medical technologies and women’s increasing willingness to talk on and offline about the procedure may someday normalize the topic to the degree that those who make the decision whether or not to become mothers will no longer be stigmatized as they are today.