By Kate Maloy, Maggie Jones Patterson
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Additional info for Birth or Abortion?: Private Struggles in a Political World
She was indeed pregnant. Sv, who "was very much married, with children as old as I," reacted nonchalantly. '''Well, you know,' he said, 'there's no problem about that. '" Lois paused for a moment in her recollection. More than thirty years after these events she was still overcome in the telling. "Abortion to me was a whispered word, and the whispered word meant knitting needles and coat hangers and dying," she went on, tears welling in her eyes. " And so Lois comforted herself with the thought that anybody doing a procedure on mob girlfriends would certainly be careful.
The plan was made in absolute secrecy for fear of a hostile press," according to American Women in the 1950s: Mothers and More, by Eugenia Kaledin. " Calderone and Planned Parenthood published the conference proceedings in 1958 as Abortion in the United States: A Conference Sponsored by the Planned Parent/wad Federation of America, lne. at Arden House and the New York Academy of Medicine. " Most of the conference participants were East Coast physicians and public health experts who specialized in women's health-people who may have been more liberal than their counterparts elsewhere in the medical community.
She has noticed that many women in the pro-life movement have suffered a similar loss, "something that seemed to bring to their attention that the world is not a totally orderly, controlled world," she said. 1ndeed, Kristin Luker's book Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood indicates that pro-life activists tend to see much of life, including pregnancy, as rightfully outside the grasp of human control. On the other hand, Luker finds, pro-choice women believe that control of fertility is a human responsibility.
Birth or Abortion?: Private Struggles in a Political World by Kate Maloy, Maggie Jones Patterson