Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic

Synopsis

How do feminist identity and abortion politics intersect? Specifically, what does feminism mean to women working to feminist health care and abortion services in the late 1980s and early 1990s? What are the ideological consequences and emotional tolls of doing such work in a hostile socio-cultural environment? Can feminism and bureaucracy coexist productively? How do feminists confront the anti-feminist opposition, from anti-abortion protesters outside to racism within feminist organizations? These are the questions that drive Wendy Simonds' Abortion at Work. Simonds documents the ways in which workers at a feminist clinic construct compelling feminist visions, and also watch their ideals fall short in practice. Simonds interprets these women's narratives to get at how abortion works on feminism, and to show what feminism can gain by rethinking abortion utilizing these activists' terms. In thoroughly engaging prose, Simonds frames her analysis with a moving account of her own personal understanding of the issues. AUTHOBIO: Wendy Simonds is assistant professor in the Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University. She is the author of "Women and Self-Help Culture: Reading Between the Lines" (Rutgers University Press) and co-author of "Centuries of Solace: Expressions of Maternal Grief in Popular Literature."

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