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Abortion’s Saving Graces: Book Review of “How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America”

Ann Schneider Apr 5, 2006

“How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America”
By Cristina Page
Basicbooks 2006

Ms. Page, a National Abortion Rights Action League staffer, assembles scientific studies and sociological facts to show that women are happier, babies are healthier and fathers are more involved since the dawn of the pill.

More boldly, she claims that the actions of the “pro-life” lobby around the country are actually increasing the need for abortion, by spreading lies and ignorance about birth control. She claims there is not one “pro-life” group that supports the use of birth control. For instance, she quotes the founder of the American Life League saying, “We’ve been working for over a year to prove that prescription contraceptives have nothing to do with a woman’s health and well-being but are recreational drugs that prevent fertilization and abort children.”

Page’s slim volume is full of alarming statistics that should motivate men and women who enjoy sex to redouble their efforts to preserve access to abortion. As Page told a small crowd at Bluestockings bookstore recently, “There are more laws permitting pharmacists to refuse to fulfill a birth control prescription than there are members of Pharmacists for Life.”

Since Samuel Alito was confirmed, five more states have passed bills eliminating abortion. Thirty-four states already have fetal protection laws. In Texas, after a 17 year old could not obtain an abortion, she asked her boyfriend to help her by standing on her stomach. She miscarried, and her boyfriend is now serving a life sentence because that state deems a fetus a person.

Page credits Clinton’s pro-choice administration for reducing the abortion rate to the lowest in history. Yet currently, the United States has the highest number of teen pregnancies among the developed world, with the Bush-friendly states of Texas and Florida ranking as two of the top five states with high teen pregnancy rates.