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What Does It mean to Have a “Real Choice” About Abortion?

What does it mean to have a “real choice” about abortion?


I am writing this book review as the Supreme Court hears arguments over Mississippi’s law banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, and it could seem like the wrong time for arguing the subtleties of this question. Abortion may become flat-out illegal throughout the American South in less than a year. If that happens, too many Americans will know exactly what it means to have no choice.


But looking forward, supporters of legal and readily available abortion care should keep talking about the myriad of circumstances that lead people to consider abortion to figure out how to come together in support of pregnant people, their choices, and their lives.


In No Real Choice: How Culture and Politics Matter for Reproductive Autonomy, sociologist Katrina Kimport shares the stories of women who considered abortion but did not follow through. The stories, selected from her interviews with 58 women, are important testaments to the many layers of deprivation and ill treatment that stand between American women and their ability to choose when to have a child, even in a moment when abortion remains tenuously legal...

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