Before Roe V. Wade
Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's RulingBook - 2010
Examines the roots of the Roe v. Wade conflict, reconstructing the pro-choice and pro-life movements, and recovering the voices that shaped the Supreme Court's decision.
Greenhouse, a journalist who covered the Supreme Court for the New York Times and now teaches at Yale Law School, and Siegel (law, Yale U.) collect primary source documents illustrating the arguments of the American people for and against abortion before the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. They trace how arguments for legalizing abortion for public health purposes led to goals of women's movement in seeking liberty, equality, and dignity, and moved towards an appeal by others to defend the "right to life" of the unborn. They include excerpts from briefs of the Supreme Court, case studies of litigation and legislation from New York and Connecticut, statements from religious leaders, patients, and doctors, and calls by feminists and activists. They do not trace the legal doctrines the Court drew from in their decision or the evolution of litigation in the case; instead, they aim to recreate the public conversations, including what Americans had been doing and saying about abortion laws before the case, other associated issues, and how conversations changed the meaning and social significance of abortion and views about the role of the government in regulating it. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"We found ourselves on a journey of discovery that took us to public and private archives and that placed in our hands crumbling and long-forgotten legal documents retrieved from participants' attics and basements. We heard the voices of women and men---well-known, little-known, and completely unknown---calling from across the years. It is a privilege to enable them to speak again in their own words in these pages."---from the Introduction
Decades after the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, abortion remains a polarizing topic on America's political landscape. Blending history, culture, and law, Before Roe v. Wade explores the roots of that conflict, reconstructing the rise of the pro-choice and pro-life movements and recovering the voices that helped shape the climate that sparked the Supreme Court's 1973 decision. This perspective on the abortion debate is as relevant as ever with the prospect of imminent changes on the Supreme Court.
Including rare and never-before-seen archival documents---and showcasing a variety of fascinating firsthand accounts from women who considered illegal abortions and the doctors and clergy they consulted, calls to action by activists on both sides, papers from long-forgotten court cases and legislative debates, friend-of-the-court briefs, and other documents of an era marked by transformation---the authors recapture a pivotal chapter in America's past.
The Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade declared that the Constitution protected decisions regarding abortion---but the debate was far from over, continuing to be a political battleground to this day. In the decades since the case was decided, the American debate on abortion has moved away from the issues that the justices confronted more than three decades ago. Bringing to light key documents that illuminate the case and its political context, Before Roe v. Wade looks back and recaptures how the arguments for and against abortion took shape as claims about the meaning of the Constitution---and about how the nation could best honor its commitment to dignity, liberty, equality, and life.
Chronicling these diverse voices, authors Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel show us both sides of the debate. Assembled here are statements from religious leaders, patients, obstetricians; a medical director of Planned Parenthood, members of the Zero Population Growth movement, as well as excerpts from Betty Friedan's campaign to equate abortion and civil rights and the voices of others on the front lines of the debate.
Simon and Schuster
The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion–but the debate was far from over, continuing to be a political battleground to this day. In the decades since the case was decided, the American debate on abortion has moved away from the issues that the justices confronted more than three decades ago. Bringing to light key voices that illuminate the case and its cultural context, Before Roe v. Wade looks back and recaptures how the arguments for and against abortion took shape as claims about the meaning of the Constitution—and about how the nation could best honor its commitment to dignity, liberty, equality, and life.
In this ground-breaking book, Linda Greenhouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covered the Supreme Court for 30 years for The New York Times, and Reva Siegel, a renowned professor and former deputy dean at Yale Law School, collect the most significant historical, cultural, and legal documents which helped shape the Supreme Court’s controversial decision.