Abortion is one of the most private decisions a woman can make, and is also one of the most contentious topics in American civic life.
Protested at rallies and politicized in party platforms, terminating pregnancy is often seen as a selfish decision by women who put their own interests above those of the fetus.
To pry open the silence surrounding this public issue, Carol Sanger distinguishes between abortion privacy and abortion secrecy, a woman’s defense against the many harms of disclosure.
Laws regulating abortion patients and providers treat abortion not as an acceptable medical decision but as something disreputable, immoral, and chosen by mistake.
New medical technologies, women’s increasing willingness to talk online and off, and the prospect of tighter judicial reins on state legislatures are shaking up the practice of abortion.