Book Review: How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America by Cristina Page (2006)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Though I often review books and movies that have little to do with animal advocacy or environmental issues, I don’t usually post the reviews here since – well, since they’ve little to do with animal advocacy!

So while I read and reviewed Cristina Page’s How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex (2006) over Memorial Day weekend (do I know how to live it up, or what?!), it didn’t initially occur to me that I should publish it here. That is, until earlier today, when I realized that I included the volume in my list of recommended reading on the topic of intersectionality. Thus, entirely appropriate!

Also, I spent all my spare time today writing another guest post for change.org. Filler, this post? No!

Seriously, though, it’s a great book, and an excellent introduction to the current American debate over reproductive rights. It’s also quite timely, eerily so.

How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America by Cristina Page (2006)

“Pro-life”? More like “anti-sex,” “anti-woman” and “anti-human.”

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If How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America – the title of Cristina Page’s 2006 exposé of the religious right/pro-life movement’s true agenda – sounds like liberal hyperbole, chances are that Page wrote this book just for you!

While the “pro-life” movement professes to respect “all life,” to the point of holding it sacred, the movement’s actions belie this all-too-common assumption. Since the days of Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers have been hammering away at women’s – and men’s – reproductive rights. In addition to abortion (whether it occurs before the fertilized egg implants in the womb, the point at which those in the medical field consider that a pregnancy has begun, or in the later stages of pregnancy, which is very rare and usually done in order to save the mother’s life), the pro-life movement opposes contraception, and not just Plan B (which is not an abortifacient, but rather a high dose of The Pill). Whether the method is hormonal (The Pill, the patch, Plan B, NuvaRing, etc.) or barrier (the condom, the sponge, the cervical cap, the diaphragm, spermicide), pro-lifers oppose it. The only contraceptive method explicitly endorsed by pro-life groups, in fact, is one with dubious efficacy: natural family planning, also called the rhythm method.

(More below the fold…)