- “Pro” by Katha Pollitt
- Feminist Non-Fiction
- Read as a physical copy as part of the Progressive Postal Book Club
- 4/5 stars
- Finished January 30, 2017
A POWERFUL ARGUMENT FOR ABORTION AS A MORAL RIGHT AND SOCIAL GOOD BY A NOTED FEMINIST AND LONGTIME COLUMNIST FOR THE NATION
Forty years after the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, “abortion” is still a word that is said with outright hostility by many, despite the fact that one in three American women will have terminated at least one pregnancy by menopause. Even those who support a woman’s right to an abortion often qualify their support by saying abortion is a “bad thing,” an “agonizing decision,” making the medical procedure so remote and radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the everyday, turning an act that is normal and necessary into something shameful and secretive. Meanwhile, with each passing day, the rights upheld by the Supreme Court are being systematically eroded by state laws designed to end abortion outright.
In this urgent, controversial book, Katha Pollitt reframes abortion as a common part of a woman’s reproductive life, one that should be accepted as a moral right with positive social implications. In Pro, Pollitt takes on the personhood argument, reaffirms the priority of a woman’s life and health, and discusses why terminating a pregnancy can be a force for good for women, families, and society. It is time, Pollitt argues, that we reclaim the lives and the rights of women and mothers.
This was the first book I received for my Progressive Postal Book Club and it’s really amazing to see something you start actually come to fruition. The general idea of the book club was that we would start reading books about progressive topics through the next three years to help arm us with knowledge during the Trump Administration. Each person in the book club picked a book (no duplicates) and bought a journal. Each person has a person they send their book to each month. They sent their book and journal to that person, and each person received a book from their designated “sender”. This continues until you get your book back. We have 28 people in ours so the club will be 28 months long. I plan on documenting each of the books here.
I was really nervous about this, at one point I really wanted to dive into Feminist literature, but the first book I grabbed I bailed on because it felt like a diatribe. I want to learn more when I read feminist literature. Theory, or facts, or whatever to help me further understand myself, my beliefs, and how to explain that to others. This book was honestly phenomenal at that. In the introduction, Pollitt explains how she wrote the book mostly for people in the middle, not extremely anti-choice or even for extremely pro-choice people. She spends a lot of time talking about individual arguments and rebutting them, but she does it in a way that is smart, and not diatribe like. It’s really really interesting and a very quick read.
I’m really glad I read this book, and would recommend it to anyone who has an opinion on abortion or even doesn’t have an opinion. It makes some really interesting points, and I would love to talk about it with someone who has a totally different opinion of abortion than I do. I’m so grateful to Sara Beth for choosing this!
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