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Nonfiction Reading

by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta J. Ross, and Elena R. Gutiérrez


'Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice' by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta J. Ross, and Elena R. Gutiérrez

“One of the criticisms lobbied at the Jane Collective was the overwhelming whiteness of its staff, who served a largely black clientele. In Undivided Rights, authors Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta J. Ross, and Elena R. Gutiérrez unearth the history of women of color's reproductive organization and activism, through archival research and interviews.”


-Bustle, 15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights You Should be Reading


“Undivided Rights presents a fresh and textured understanding of the reproductive rights movement by placing the experiences, priorities, and activism of women of color in the foreground. Using historical research, original organizational case studies, and personal interviews, the authors illuminate how women of color have led the fight to control their own bodies and reproductive destinies. Undivided Rights shows how women of color—-starting within their own Latina, African American, Native American, and Asian American communities—have resisted coercion of their reproductive abilities. Projected against the backdrop of the mainstream pro-choice movement and radical right agendas, these dynamic case studies feature the groundbreaking work being done by health and reproductive rights organizations led by women-of-color.” - Goodreads

by Barbara Gurr


'Reproductive Justice: The Politics of Health Care for Native American Women' by Barbara Gurr


“Focusing on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Barbara Gurr's Reproductive Justice takes readers inside Native American women's struggle to access adequate reproductive care, including prenatal treatment, through the Indian Health Service.” -Bustle, 15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights You Should be Reading

“In Reproductive Justice, sociologist Barbara Gurr provides the first analysis of Native American women’s reproductive healthcare and offers a sustained consideration of the movement for reproductive justice in the United States. The book examines the reproductive healthcare experiences on Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota—where Gurr herself lived for more than a year. Gurr paints an insightful portrait of the Indian Health Service (IHS)—the federal agency tasked with providing culturally appropriate, adequate healthcare to Native Americans—shedding much-needed light on Native American women’s efforts to obtain prenatal care, access to contraception, abortion services, and access to care after sexual assault. Reproductive Justice goes beyond this local story to look more broadly at how race, gender, sex, sexuality, class, and nation inform the ways in which the government understands reproductive healthcare and organizes the delivery of this care. It reveals why the basic experience of reproductive healthcare for most Americans is so different—and better—than for Native American women in general, and women in reservation communities particularly. Finally, Gurr outlines the strengths that these communities can bring to the creation of their own reproductive justice, and considers the role of IHS in fostering these strengths as it moves forward in partnership with Native nations.” - Goodreads

by Dorothy Roberts


'Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty' by Dorothy Roberts


“A black feminist anthem and a rallying cry to civil rights activists who have gone soft, Dorothy Roberts' Killing the Black Body exposes how recent legislation has restricted the reproductive rights of black people, particularly those who live in poverty. No discussion of reproductive or racial justice is complete without this book.” Bustle, 15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights You Should be Reading

“This is a no-holds-barred response to the liberal and conservative retreat from an assertive, activist, and socially transformative civil rights agenda of recent years--using a black feminist lens and the issue of  the impact of recent legislation, social policy, and welfare "reform" on black women's--especially poor black women's--control over their bodies' autonomy and their freedom to bear and raise children with respect and dignity in a society whose white mainstream is determined to demonize, even criminalize their lives.   It gives its readers a cogent legal and historical argument for a radically new , and socially transformative, definition of  "liberty" and "equality" for the American polity from a black feminist perspective.” -Goodreads

“There is perhaps no more important book when it comes to tracing the history of reproductive oppression faced by African American women in the United States. From slavery to coerced sterilization to welfare caps, Roberts lays out centuries of assault on black women and families with regard to when and if they are allowed to control their own reproductive lives.” – Cosmopolitan, 20 Books About Reproductive Rights That Every Woman Should Read

by Rickie Solinger


'Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade' by Rickie Solinger


“Focusing on the two decades that followed World War II, Rickie Solinger's Wake Up Little Susie dissects the double standard that emerged toward unwed pregnancy in the postwar period. White parents gave up children for adoption, which was not available to black parents, and this disparity was used — and continues to be used today — to argue against black families' worth and self-direction in the U.S.” -Bustle, 15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights You Should be Reading


“Rickie Solinger provides the first published analyses of maternity home programs for unwed mothers from 1945 to 1965, and examines how nascent cultural and political constructs such as the "population bomb" and the "sexual revolution" reinforced racially-specific public policy initiatives. Such initiatives encouraged white women to relinquish their babies, spawning a flourishing adoption market, while they subjected black women to social welfare policies which assumed they would keep their babies and aimed to prevent them from having more.” - Goodreads

by Susan Wicklund and Alan Kesselheim


'This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor' by Susan Wicklund and Alan Kesselheim


“Written by an doctor compelled to wear a bulletproof vest and carry a gun for protection, This Common Secret combines Susan Wicklund's 20 years of experience in abortion clinics with patient testimonies, giving readers a fascinating and important look beyond the protesters and behind the closed doors of American clinics.” – Bustle, 15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights You Should be Reading


“In This Common Secret Dr. Susan Wicklund chronicles her emotional and dramatic twenty-year career on the front lines of the abortion war. Growing up in working class, rural Wisconsin, Wicklund had her own painful abortion at a young age. It was not until she became a doctor that she realized how many women shared her ordeal of an unwanted pregnancy—and how hidden this common experience remains. This is the story of Susan's love for a profession that means listening to women and helping them through one of the most pivotal and controversial events in their lives. Hers is also a calling that means sleeping on planes and commuting between clinics in different states—and that requires her to wear a bulletproof vest and to carry a .38 caliber revolver. This is also the story of the women whom Susan serves, women whose options are increasingly limited.

Through these intimate, complicated, and inspiring accounts, Wicklund reveals the truth about the women's clinics that anti-abortion activists portray as little more than slaughterhouses for the unborn. As we enter the most fevered political fight over abortion America has ever seen, this raw and powerful memoir shows us what is at stake.” – Goodreads


“In Wicklund's memoir, she explains what motivated her to become a provider — her own experience obtaining an abortion. In a candid, first-person account, Wicklund tells her own history, starting with an abortion in her family's past and continuing through the constant harassment and fear of being an abortion provider in the '80s and '90s.” – Cosmopolitan, 20 Books About Reproductive Rights That Every Woman Should Read

by Jessica Mason Pieklo, Robin Marty


‘Crow After Roe: How "Separate But Equal" Has Become the New Standard in Women's Health and How We Can Change That’ by Jessica Mason Pieklo, Robin Marty


Crow After Roe: How Separate But Equal Has Become the New Standard In Women's Health And How We Can Change That takes a look at twelve states that since 2010 have each passed a different anti-abortion or anti-women's health law, and how each law is explicitly written to provoke a repeal of Roe v. Wade. The book will detail not just the history of the laws in question, but how they challenge Roe v. Wade and create a reproductive health care system that puts women especially poor, rural, or those of color into a separate class with fewer choices or control.” – Goodreads

by Jonathan Eig


‘The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution’ by Jonathan Eig


“Before there was legal abortion, there was the battle for contraception itself and the ability to prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place. Eig's book is a highly detailed, highly informative account of the social and financial stumbling blocks that the creators of the first birth control pill faced in trying to get their product developed. It also doesn't shy away from the problematic aspects of the story in regards to medical consent, or the controversial histories of the figures involved in the groundbreaking achievement.” – Cosmopolitan, 20 Books About Reproductive Rights That Every Woman Should Read


“We know it simply as "the pill," yet its genesis was anything but simple. Jonathan Eig's masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters: the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love; the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband, the son of the founder of International Harvester and a schizophrenic; the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus, who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who, after he was approached by Sanger and McCormick, grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation; and the telegenic John Rock, a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as Enovid.

Spanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminist politics, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and briskly written, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, cultural, and scientific history.” -Goodreads

by Susan Goldberg and Chloë Brushwood Rose


‘And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families’ by Susan Goldberg and Chloë Brushwood Rose

And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families explores the role of the "known donor" in the queer family structure: what happens when would-be dyke moms or gay dads ask a friend or acquaintance to donate sperm or an egg, or to act as a surrogate? A quirky, funny, and occasionally heartbreaking collection of personal essays, this book offers an intimate look at the relative risks and unexpected rewards of queer, do-it-yourself baby-making, and the ways in which families are re-made in the process. With no clear models to follow, these new versions of the queer family are creating their own, addressing questions such as: What's the difference between being a donor and being a parent? What happens to non-biological parents when a known donor is also part of the picture? When and how does biology count-or does it? Why do parents choose known donors, and what happens if things get ugly? And what does all this mean for queer families already facing extraordinary social pressures? The contributors-donors, biological and non-bio parents, and their children-offer provocative, nuanced insights into what it means to be or use a known donor and how queer families are being reconceived to include new roles, new rules, and kinship ties that transcend biology.” – Goodreads

by David Grimes and Linda Brandon


Every Third Woman in America: How Legal Abortion Transformed Our Nation by David Grimes and Linda Brandon

“Written by a doctor, the book is a bit drier and more medical than many others . . . but also involves far more scientifically accurate and fact-based information about abortion's impact on those who undergo them and on society on the whole. In addition to telling of his own time as an abortion provider, Grimes patiently explains away the myths anti-abortion activists have inserted into the debate, such as abortion causing breast cancer or the likelihood of injury during a procedure.” – Cosmopolitan, 20 Books About Reproductive Rights That Every Woman Should Read

“Written by abortion-performing doctor and former Chief of the Abortion Surveillance Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Every Third Woman in America examines the social history of abortion, including how the U.S. changed in the wake of Roe v. Wade, and what those of us who have grown up in a world of legal abortion should know.” - Bustle, 15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights You Should be Reading

by Robin Marty


Handbook for a Post-Roe America by Robin Marty


Handbook for a Post-Roe America is a comprehensive and user-friendly manual for understanding and preparing for the looming changes to reproductive rights law, and getting the healthcare you need––by any means necessary. Activist and writer Robin Marty guides readers through various worst-case scenarios of a post-Roe America, and offers ways to fight back, including: how to acquire financial support, how to use existing networks and create new ones, and how to, when required, work outside existing legal systems. She details how to plan for your own emergencies, how to start organizing now, what to know about self-managed abortion care with pills and/or herbs, and how to avoid surveillance. The only guidebook of its kind, Handbook for a Post-Roe America includes an extensive, detailed resource guide for all pregnant people (whether cis, trans, or non-binary) of clinics, action groups, abortion funds, and practical support groups in each state, so wherever you live, you can get involved.” -Goodreads

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