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The Abortionist: A Woman Against the Law
Before Roe vs. Wade, hundreds of thousands of illegal abortions were performed in the U.S. every year. Award-winning author Rickie Solinger tells the revealing story of Ruth Barnett, who performed 40,000 such abortions between 1918 and 1968 and never lost a patient. 8-page photo insert.
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published May 30th 1995 by Free Press
(first published 1995)
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Full title: The Abortionist: A Woman Against the Law. Nonfiction, about abortion practitioners in the US from the 1920s to the 1960s, before Roe v. Wade. Solinger focused on one woman practitioner in particular, Ruth Barnett, who operated on possibly a hundred thousand women over forty years and never lost a patient. Solinger also gave a really good idea of what those years were like, for women seeking abortions and for the medical practitioners who broke the law and provided abortions.
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Captivating book. This is a woman who had an abortion and decides to work in that field in Portland, OR. The history of abortions and the laws on abortion is not what you think. It profiles how abortionists worked their trade without hiding for many years and how the underworld took advantage of the situation. Women getting pregnant during war time and non-existant birth control drove the issues. Whether or not you agree with abortion, this is a must-read. The aborionist also wrote her own book, ...more
i found this book fascinating. ruth barnett was an abortionist in portland, oregon where i grew up. the important and powerful brought pregnant wives and girlfriends to her doorsteps, and then were instrumental in throwing her in prison. this is part of a history of abortion that happened before i knew anything about the subject. abortion has been a political football and subject to the whims of the politicians and the public behind them.
I actually liked this book, for the most part, but I was led to believe that this would be a book about a female abortionist; what I read was a book mostly devoted to the *era* in which she practiced. I really wanted to get to know Ruth as a person, not just Ruth as abortionist. This book doesn't give you too many glimpses of her life - the majority of this "biography" is about abortion syndicates and trials. I would be tempted to read her daughter's memoir (autobiography?) but if it's written t ...more