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How The Pro-choice Movement Saved America : Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  685 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
A pithy polemic bolstered by solid research, intellectual heft, and firsthand reporting, this is a book poised to change the debate over reproductive rights in this country wholesale. As activist and writer Cristina Page shows, the gains made by birth-control advocates (historically) and pro-choice organizations (currently) have formed the bedrock of freedoms few Americans ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 30th 2006 by Basic Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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meredith ann
this book made me really angry. like gripping the book so hard that my knuckles turned red angry. so i think page accomplished her goal. it's a look at the measures that the anti-choice movement goes to to prevent access to contraceptives. of course, there is a talk on abortion but it's main focus is birth control (including emergency contraceptive) and condoms.

i was shocked and appalled at sheer power these groups have and the lengths they go to to keep women from making choices about their ow
Sarah Dzurkovich
This book proves to me that even though I know a lot about the feminist movement, there is always more to learn. This book discusses the hidden agenda behind major pro-life organizations and that their main purpose isn't necessarily to stop abortions. Pro-lifers want to consider contraceptives as abortion and also want contraceptives outlawed in addition to abortion DESPITE the fact that contraceptives help prevent abortions. The fact is that with the legalization of birth control, women gained ...more
Jul 11, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Amazing for the amount of research (pp 169-211 are citations)packed into a rather brief book. The author presents a compelling case for her viewpoint (which is clearly pro-choice) without any preachy diatribes.

I guess I had no idea how far reaching George W. Bush's political appointments extend. This book not only warns of the possibility of a future in which Roe v. Wade is overturned and ALL forms of contraception (yes kids, even the condom) are pulled from the market, it also explains how this
Jun 07, 2007 Adriel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like a good argument
The author put together an excellent argument about how if the pro life movement really wanted to stop abortions, they would advocate for comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control. Instead they spend their efforts as a movement working on ways to control women's sexuality.
The problem with books like this one is that the only people who are ever going to pick something like this off the shelf are those who already identify as pro-choice. I think the people who would most benefit from reading this are those who consider themselves to be pro-life without realizing that the issue is about much more than abortion; I think that most Americans are actually pro-choice to some degree, whether or not they realize it. This book is about the people who are not, and what will ...more
Jill Dunlap
Apr 13, 2007 Jill Dunlap rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: pro-choicers and pro-lifers
This is a good book - one that pro-lifers should also read to see what their movement is really about. It does a good job of pulling pack the curtain to reveal the whole world of evil that is the pro-life movement. But it's definitely dated now - written in 2004, so limited by the timeliness of her arguments.
Jun 08, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: activism
Page's book reads as a bit of a polemic at times, with her (justified) frustration at the pro-life movement seeping through into the prose. The result is a book that can probably do little to shed light on the pro-life movement for pro-lifers, restraining itself instead to an opportunity to preach to the pro-choice choir. Actually, that categorization may be unfair. How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America does significantly more than preach to the choir; it painstakingly details for the reader ...more
Ahh, Bush-era progressive rage. I'm nostalgic, almost. I've had How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America on my list for years, but reading it now is instructive. It's out of date for some excellent reasons (for example, OTC emergency contraception for teens), but still topical for others, particularly the "pro-life" movement's talent at manufacturing fake controversies about Planned Parenthood, UNFPA, and any other organization that provides critical reproductive health services.

It's a lively r
Nov 23, 2008 Carly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone. seriously.
Interested in having sex? Feel like your sex life is none of the government's damn business? Believe that other people's beliefs have a constitutional obligation to stay out of our legislative tradition? This is a book for you. There is a real war on birth control access in this country and thinking people who live here should be outraged. I am.
Apr 07, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Women's reproductive health care is my passion, and I loved Page's voice and narrative style. It was also really interesting because pro-life and pro-choice are always portrayed as divided in the langugage of abortion, but as Page points out, it really is a war of ideas, access to family planning, and control.
Dec 17, 2007 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
A Fantastic. Well-written and well-sourced. I wouldn’t have minded a slight critique of the pro-choice movement (not a critique but she makes it super positive, which I love, but maybe a bit less biased…) She points out what fucking nuts these religious morons are who are anti-choice and also, anti-family.
Poorly argued, poorly written, obnoxiously partisan, and just generally annoying, and I'm the choir she's preaching to. I found Sue Hertz's Caught in the Crossfire, which I read at the same time, to be much more engaging, fair and timely, and it was written twenty years ago.
Adam Ross
Contrary to what the title might suggest, this book is not about abortion. It is about contraceptives and birth control, and the worrying mutation of the anti-abortion movement into the anti-contraceptives movement. Page documents not just the undeniable benefits of contraceptives in the lives of American women, but also the undeniable harm that pro-life rhetoric and policy has done, both in America and internationally. She meticulously documents how the anti-birth control position of the pro-li ...more
Laura Marinkovich
This book was incredibly informative. And not only about the pro-choice versus pro-life battle that is going on in America but also the war on contraception. This book is built upon facts and events that I was naive to. It has a not commonly held outlook on the prochoice movement but it is nonetheless great to know these facts and be more aware about the legislation that has gone on in my country.
Apr 22, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
This book made me angry. I've never understood the logic of pro-lifers - I get that they don't support abortion (I disagree and think they're wrong, but whatever), but why the hell would they not advocate for comprehensive sex education and wildly accessible contraceptives? Shit, if you don't want women to get abortions, make it so they aren't put in the position to need one. I know an unfortunate number of staunchly pro-life people, so I've had this conversation many times, but seeing all of th ...more
A bit of a time capsule, How the Pro Choice Movement Saved America is a good read for anyone looking to learn a little more about anti-choice efforts both in the U.S. and abroad. For me, someone who already knows a great deal, it added to my knowledge and gave me some new causes to donate to, such UNFPA. It's pretty out of date, so I got a laugh out of the ominous tones surrounding a Bush presidency. That being said, it's a scary look at where things were in the early 2000's, and where they coul ...more
Jul 09, 2010 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, thoroughly researched, and extremely well-written. I'm not sure if there's an updated version of this book, but it thoroughly captures the horrifying enormity of the influence anti-choice groups wielded during the Bush administration and the devastating effects of actions taken based on that agenda.
Mark Hainds
Aug 30, 2015 Mark Hainds rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I used to identify with the Pro-Life side. But I no longer wish to be associated with that label. I want to see less abortions, as do most people on both sides of this issue. The difference is that many Pro-Lifers promote policies that lead to more abortions: abstinence only education, denying the efficacy of birth-control options, restricting funding for women's health.
I had begun to suspect that much of the Pro-Life movement was more interested in promoting their religious doctrines than they
Aug 05, 2007 Jessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, thesis
Compelling. Details how/why the pro-choice movement prevents more abortions than pro-life.
Jan 10, 2011 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome. Greatly researched and frightening.

Couples nicely with The Purity Myth.
Apr 21, 2012 Steve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vital-issues
Everyone should read this ASAP. I'll lend you my copy.
Julia DelSignore Peoples
This book put me over the edge. By page 11, I wanted to throw it across the room because I was so angry. My anger isn't directed toward the author or her point. My anger is directed at the idiots that think that women should not have a choice. A choice in anything, really this book goes deeper than just the abortion debate. That is only the first layer. When you look deep into the well hidden corners, you find it is much more than that. To all of you that consider yourself to be anti-abortion an ...more
Kristian Wilson
May 06, 2016 Kristian Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Why do the people who claim to be anti-abortion staunchly oppose measures --- such as access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education --- that would allow women to avoid unwanted pregnancy, and therefore abortion? That's the question at the heart of How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America, Cristina Page's examination of the abortion issue at the turn of the latest century. The conclusion Page draws is one feminists collectively reached decades ago: that the anti-choice crowd want to c

Oct 13, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
“Pro-life”? More like “anti-sex,” “anti-woman” and “anti-human.”

If HOW THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT SAVED AMERICA – the title of Cristina Page’s 2006 exposé of the religious right/pro-life movement’s true agenda – sounds like liberal hyperbole, chances are that Page wrote this book just for you!

While the “pro-life” movement professes to respect “all life,” to the point of holding it sacred, the movement’s actions belie this all-too-common assumption. Since the days of Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers have be
Nov 27, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I decided to read this book because my girlfriend was reading it for research on a report she was writing about “Women’s Rights in America”. Since many people like to think or assume I'm a feminist I thought this would be a good book to see where exactly I sat at the feminist table.

Although I don’t believe this book answered my questions of am I feminist or not, I can tell you that this book clearly made become more of an advocate for women and their rights. This was an amazing read. It opened
Feb 08, 2008 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who believe that anti-choicers are "pro-life"
Recommended to Paige by: local bookstore
My boyfriend requested that we read this book together, which is why it took so long to finish! I didn't find it to be too dated--it did only come out in 2004, I don't think THAT much has changed in 3 years, and the changes that have happened just go along with the whole theme of the book.

I knew pretty much all the information already, although there were a few things that I'm glad I learned. That said, it would have been a good, fast read if it hadn't been for the boyfriend. It was entertaining
Dean Marais
Such watery thinking, and very emotional arguments. Not a single argument from medicine, philosophy, or biology. pretty much the exact same thing you will read in the comments section of any pro choice blog on the net. tired and reused groupthink rewritten once again, and marketed as original or intelligent, but being neither
Stephanie Allen
May 24, 2015 Stephanie Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist, society
This book has a rather ambitious title. I've been wanting to read it for a while but was a bit put-off by the title. Finally read it and sincerely enjoyed it-- although, "enjoy" is not quite the right word. There were times while reading this that I gripped the book with anger and wept for the injustice that the decisions, mostly during the Bush administration during which this book was written, resulted in for women all over the world. As a medical student, public health advocate and [non-conse ...more
Jul 08, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist-books
I find myself getting angry while reading this book because I find it interesting that still in 2016 we most fight for control over my body. This book just breaks my heart in the beginning reading about several women who were told no, again someone else wanting to control our bodies. Why? Why do they feel like they know what is better for us or to place their judgement on us. Why do men not have to fit for their body's rights or to take a pill to make sure they are not with child. Funny to see i ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just wow. The pro-lifers as they like to call themselves are waging war on basic contraception as well. So, that sex for fun you just had? Not okay with the pro-lifers. Gross. Mind-blowing but glad I know. I've given monies to Planned Parenthood for years. I'll be donating to some other worthy causes because of this book as well.
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