With an anti-abortion majority on the Supreme Court, and several states with only one abortion clinic, many reproductive rights activists are on the defensive, hoping to hold on to abortion in a few places and cases. This spirited book shows how we can start winning again.
Jenny Brown uncovers a century of legal abortion in the U.S.-until 1873-the century of illegal abortion that followed, and how the women's liberation movement of the 1960s really won abortion rights. Drawing inspiration and lessons from that radical movement, the successful fight to make the morning-after pill available over the counter, and the recent mass movement to repeal Ireland's abortion ban, Without Apology is an indispensable guide for organizers today.
Brown argues that we need to stop emphasizing rare, tragic cases and deferring to experts and pollsters, and get back to the basic ideas that won us abortion in the first place: Women telling the full truth of their own experience, arguing to change minds, and making abortion and birth control a keystone demand in the movement for women's freedom.
Publisher: Verso Books
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 368 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
Praise for Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women's Work by Jenny Brown: "Jenny Brown compellingly explains the low U.S. birthrate: those primarily responsible for the labor of bearing and raising children (women) are responding as one should to lousy working conditions--by going on strike! Brown's bold and brilliant book ventures into terrain that left and feminist thinkers have avoided for far too long. A breathtakingly accessible analysis, supported by riveting and intimate testimonials, it's also an inspiring call to action."--Liza Featherstone, The Nation
"An astute analysis of power relations not only in the sphere of reproduction but also in the worlds of work, immigration, and government policy as they bear on women's ability to control their bodies. Brown illuminates the historical context of the writings of Marx and Malthus, the crusades of Comstock, and recurring elite pleas for women to supply more workers and soldiers. Birth Strike lays bare why U.S. women who want to be mothers, and those who don't, have it far worse here than in Europe. Then she tells us how to change that." --Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes
"A serious contribution to the debate around women's reproductive labor and its vital place in women's liberation. A must read for those seeking to understand and carry on the struggle." --Carol Hanisch, women's liberation pioneer and author of the 1969 article
"The Personal is Political" "Jenny Brown's rational and forthright answer to what the abortion struggles are about will surprise American women on both sides of the issue. Hint: it's not religion nor politics." --Peggy Dobbins, author of From Kin to Class, WITCH founder
"Jenny Brown's book Birth Strike is a game-changer and is equal in significance to Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique which sparked a movement in the 1960's." --Carol Downer, Feminist Women's Health Centers founder and author of A Woman's Book of Choices
"Birth Strike is a well-researched and wide-ranging analysis of how the public responsibilities of pregnancy and parenting have been privatized to benefit a capitalist for-profit system designed to minimize labor costs to produce wealth for the few. Offers fresh insight into how women's biological power may be harnessed to resist reproductive oppression." --Loretta J. Ross, author of Reproductive Justice: An Introduction
"This book lays bare how U.S. politics around race and immigration are closely connected to the struggle for reproductive freedom, both in the past and today. You will never think about reproductive rights in the same way again." --Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
"By examining the failings and triumphs of previous movements for abortion rights, Without Apology manages to make perfect sense of the current political moment. This book will turn concerned individuals into activists and help beleaguered activists remember how it feels to believe that we can win." - Amelia Bonow, Shout Your Abortion
"Without Apology draws an exhilarating line in the sand between reformers and visionaries, between near-sighted regulation and true reproductive freedom. Jenny Brown has given us a frank, full-throated gift in an era when abortion rights are threatened by hostility and timidity both. Without Apology made me want to tweet about my abortion 'til the day I die." - Nona Willis Aronowitz