Abortion and Dialogue

Abortion and Dialogue

Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, and American Law
Ruth Colker
Distribution: World
Publication date: 9/1/1992
ISBN: 978-0-253-11665-9
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Description

A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1994
“The issues she takes on are crucial—not solely the subject areas of reproductive rights and law, or public policy lenses and judicial impact in women’s and children’s lives, but also the more difficult and fundamental questions of how these ‘hot topics’ can be approached so as to make the most of the good will of all and the force of free discussion for social learning. . . . she brings a strong, evolving and distinctive perspective to the discussion.” —Emily Fowler Hartigan

In
Abortion and Dialogue, Ruth Colker argues that the state falsely views the woman and the fetus as having conflicting needs when it intervenes in decisions regarding preganancies. Colker's feminist-theological perspective on reproductive health issues encourages both pro-choice and pro-life advocates to consider how the value of life is implicated in discussions of reproduction.

Colker argues that theology can contribute to our understanding if we apply the concepts of love, compassion, and wisdom to problems identified by feminist theory and to actual concrete situations: the impact of abortion regulations on poor female adolescents; the judicial treatment of abortion regulations; state intervention into women’s decision-making during pregnancies carried to term. Colker concludes by examining effective and respectful family-planning strategies that truly help women in making reproductive choices.

Author Bio

RUTH COLKER, Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of Abortion and Dialogue: Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, and American Law. She has written on feminist theory and abortion in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, Yale Journal on Law and Feminism, Harvard Women’s Law Journal, and Columbia Journal on Gender and Law. In addition to her scholarship, she has served as a legal advocate on behalf of women working with the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund as well as the ACLU.

Reviews

"This is feminist scholarship at its best: interdisciplinary, passionate, personal, and political. This book is more original than its title suggests. Although other works, e.g., Laurence Tribe's Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes (CH, Dec'90), Faye Ginsberg's Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community (1989), Mary Ann Glendon's Abortion and Divorce in Western Law (CH, Feb'88), and Rights Talk (1991), have noted how the absolutism of the abortion debate thwarts the discovery of common ground, none have so sensitively appreciated the concerns of both sides and so eloquently suggested an alternative theory as Colker (Tulane Univ.). She crafts a feminist—theological perspective based on the conception of an authentic self that moves toward the aspirations of love, compassion, and wisdom. When these aspirations are applied to abortion politics, problems within both movements are revealed. How can pro—choicers be so disrepectful of concerns for life? How can pro—lifers ignore the realities of women's lives? Colker then shows a way out of the thicket by utilizing an equality framework guided by the three aspirations. Both controversial and inspiring, this volume is highly recommended for all libraries. —S. Behunia" —Long, Le Moyne College , Choice , February 1993

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION: ABORTION ADN DIALOGUE

PART ONE FEMINISM AND THEOLOGY

CHAPTER ONE Aspirations: An Authentic Self Embedded in Love, Compassion, and Wisdom

CHAPTER TWO The Critique: The Problems of Consciousness and Sexual Objectification

PART TWO WOMENS’ VOICE
CHAPTER THREE Testimonials

CHAPTER FOUR Empirical Data

PART THREE

CHAPTER FIVE An Equality Perspective: Anti-Subordination Above ALl

CHAPTER SIX Roe v. Wade

CHAPTER SEVEN Webster v. Reproductive Health
Services: Where’s the Feminist Argument?

CHAPTER EIGHT MATERNITY CASES

AFTERWORD TOWARD CHOICE AND LIFE

APPENDIX
TABLE OF CASES
INDEX