Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Abortion & Life” as Want to Read:
Abortion & Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Abortion & Life

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  161 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
“In her role as author and activist, Jennifer Baumgardner has permanently changed the way people think about feminism . . . and will shape the next hundred years of politics and culture.”—The Commonwealth Club of California, hailing Baumgardner as one of Six Visionaries for the Twenty-First Century

“If Jennifer Baumgardner ever needs another mom, I’ll be the first in line t
Paperback, 175 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Akashic Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Abortion & Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Abortion & Life

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 771)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Elevate Difference
Feb 16, 2009 Elevate Difference rated it really liked it
Jennifer Baumgardner - author, filmmaker, and creator of the much-ballyhooed “I Had An Abortion” t-shirt - attempts to shift current feminist discourse about abortion with her latest book, Abortion & Life, which is sure to provoke passionate debate. Baumgardner effectively argues that, all too often, abortion is treated like a dirty little secret — something that shouldn’t be discussed in polite company (or even in private). As a result, Baumgardner believes that women who feel ambivalent or ...more
Erika RS
Apr 21, 2013 Erika RS rated it liked it
This book is written by Jennifer Baumgardner, who started the "I had an abortion" project in 2004. This book is part of that project. It starts with a brief history of abortion, a discussion of the project, an introduction to the "pro-voice" movement, and thoughts on feminism and the pro-life movement.

The most valuable aspect of the first part was the discussion of the pro-voice movement. Pro-voice is the idea that it should be okay to talk about abortion as a bad thing, as something that we sh
Nov 08, 2008 Imogen rated it it was amazing
Y'know, I wasn't expecting to learn anything. I was expecting, like, y'know, 'abortion must be legal,' and maybe some history. This book though, actually, it made a really good point- that, like anything, when you split the argument into two binarily opposed sides- pro-life vs. pro-choice- you automatically lose perspective and the ability to discuss intelligently.

Nobody is stoked about having an abortion. (Maybe somebody is. Most people are not.) A point Ms. Baumgardner drove thoroughly home i
Chelsea Cahill
Jun 27, 2014 Chelsea Cahill rated it it was amazing
A very thought-provoking book talking about the human side of abortion and the individual stories of women who underwent them. Abortion is not described as a black and white issue in the political sense, but rather a choice that women need to make in their individual lives-- a choice that they should be allowed to have, just as they should have the choice to raise a child in a healthy environment. The one thing that I think could have made the book better would be to add more personal stories-- ...more
Kirsten Eisele
Jan 30, 2016 Kirsten Eisele rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very thoughtful approach to the volatile issue of abortion rights in the US. Giving voice to the stories of women who have had an abortion - letting them speak to why they made that choice and what impact it had on their lives - was powerful. Baumgardner did a good job of exploring how abortion rights is not a black or white issue and has many factors that go into it.

I especially appreciated the section that addressed whether a person can be both feminist and prolife. In a word: yes -- but yes
Sep 03, 2009 Sandra rated it really liked it
I've heard that this book is a "must-read".


I started to read this wonderful book. Wonderful beacuse now I have a different perspective of seeing abortion. What is it? and how to see it?
The author found out about abortion at an early age.
I did not know about abortion until I was 17.

"...abortion is the result, not the cause, of social problems" says Jennifer.

It was scary to know that Jennifer had an unexpected pregnancy, and this made her to be even more interested in the abortion iss
Dec 14, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing
Personal accounts are accompanied by portraits taken by photographer Tara Todras-Whitehill, including pictures of women as famous as Ani DiFranco and Gloria Steinem, wearing the “I had an Abortion” t-shirt. This volume is not about yelling in the streets or holding picket signs; it is not about being confrontational and aggressive toward anti-choice “activists.” It is about presenting the facts of what women went through and showing how necessary abortion is in an imperfect world. As long as we ...more
Apr 08, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
one of the things that frustrates me in the abortion debate is the focus on the fetus as opposed to the woman. the pro-life movement (or pro-birth, as i like to refer to them), has seemingly decided that any woman seeking an abortion is a terrible human being - without ever finding the root causes of WHY a woman needs an abortion. in "abortion & life," baumgardner profiles a number of women who have had abortions. to hear their stories is to gain an understanding of what makes women choose t ...more
Mar 23, 2010 MM rated it really liked it
excellent excellent excellent. Baumgardner introduces new ways of talking about abortion, getting beyond the prothis v. prothat debate. She asks how 3rd-wave (and beyond) feminists experience and think about reproductive rights perhaps differently than the 2nd-wave activists. In doing so she foregrounds women's voices; let's put women back in the center of this discussion, she seems to argue, an obvious but sometimes overlooked idea. Sidenote: I used this in my intro to women's studies course an ...more
Aug 10, 2013 Deirdre rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. This book was a quick read. I read it in an afternoon. It highlights important points that the pro-choice movement sometimes misses and the same for the pro-life side. She does a great job at helping women tell their stories and explaining that abortion isn't just a politic issue. They are personal stories. I was deeply moved by these women's stories and the many many many others out there. There are some great facts about the subject of abortion with lots of referenc ...more
Feb 06, 2009 A rated it really liked it
Shelves: gender
Interviewing women who have had abortions is the most effective means of "confronting" the abortion issue, and Baumgardner did a wonderful job. The stories come from women of a wide range of generations and backgrounds. No two stories, just like no two women, are alike. This book forces the reader to consider the individuals involved in the explosive political issue of abortion rather than seeing the issue in black and white. The book also contains helpful contacts in the index. It is rare that ...more
Jun 19, 2009 Ziskadelic rated it it was amazing
Quick read on the history of abortion and some of the stories that are a part of Baumgardner's film. Made me want to see the documentary, also made me tear up on the DC Metrobus. I really enjoyed how even handed and fair she is in presenting both sides of the debate, and how it really does make more sense to fight for women's rights (regardless of what you believe) rather than fighting against them. I feel like a more informed advocate for our right to choose, and as a woman who, like most women ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Jackieh6 rated it it was amazing
This is a really an emotional and educational book. It provided really touching stories of women who have chosen to have abortions and those who chose to have children. It brings to light past issues and those that are still ongoing to this very day. It is important for people to be able to humanize the statistics that we often hear. Yes women have abortions; these are a few of their stories, all different and compelling.
Mar 28, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
In addition to the author's primary mission of giving women a venue to speak out and share the stories of their abortions, there is a good chapter on the role of feminists in the pro-life movement and the need to bridge gaps, with recommendations of how they could better support women who choose to continue their pregnancies.
Wow. This was so much more than I was expecting. Opens the door to more meaningful dialogue about abortion in the US. Highly recommended. In fact, I'm thinking about requiring this book in addition to the standard textbook for the intro to Women's Studies course I teach.
Nov 27, 2011 Cherie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
Pro-choice, yay, but Not as good as I hoped but an interesting look at abortion but also, some not as interesting stuff about pro-life.
Beautiful photos, interesting interviews, and a modern perspective on abortion that is meaty and thought-provoking.
Amy Brown
Oct 16, 2008 Amy Brown rated it it was amazing
Is "light" abortion reading possible? A must-read for all women.
Elizabeth Johnston
Sep 26, 2009 Elizabeth Johnston rated it really liked it
This is a great book!
Oct 27, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
Recommends it for: human females, males
Recommended to Kate by: Rd delivery
The personal is political.
Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer Gregory marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Jaden marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Sameer marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Cassie Fleurs
Cassie Fleurs marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2016
Harlee rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2016
Krista marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Nicole kowalski
Nicole kowalski marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion
  • Our Bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women's Reproduction in America
  • Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe V Wade
  • When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973
  • The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service
  • The Choices We Made: Twenty-Five Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion
  • This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor
  • Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First
  • How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America
  • The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World
  • We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists
  • The Boundaries of Her Body: A Shocking History of Women's Rights in America
  • One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love
  • The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism
  • Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild
  • Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future
  • Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire
  • Contraception and Abortion in Nineteenth-Century America: A Critical Edition of the "Symphonia Armonie Celestium Revelationum" (Symphony of the Harmon

Share This Book