** Pro by Katha Pollitt


It’s not clear what Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights hopes to accomplish. Outwardly, it’s an argument for anti-abortion advocates to justify the social benefit of freedom of abortion. But clearly no anti-abortion advocate would care to read more than a couple of pages without throwing the book across the room, since the author adopts a rather strident tone that would surely turn off anyone on the other side.

She also seems to prefer polemics to facts. I would have liked to read more about the background of women who get abortions. The author says that 60% are mothers, 70% are poor, and half have had a prior abortion. But she never goes beyond those basic facts, alas. She does do a great job of showing how sexist politicians ignore facts and physicians’ opinions to create policies that keep women down…

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