Twenty-five years after Roe v. Wade, the ripple effect of that landmark ruling still rocks our culture, politics, and social relationships. Roe may have given women the right to choose abortion, but that difficult personal choice will always be embedded in many contexts. Autonomy, bodily integrity, and freedom—all at the heart of Roe—collide with other powerful forces whenever a woman considers ending her pregnancy.
The New Civil War: The Psychology, Culture, and Politics of Abortion examines the individual and combined influence of religion, morality, race, politics, personal history, sociopolitical context, and economics on a woman's decision to continue or terminate her pregnancy. This exhaustive analysis of the way Americans feel about abortion reveals that, at core, abortion continues to be defined primarily as a moral issue, often at the expense of women's health and well-being.
List of Contributors
—Henry P. David
I. The Sociopolitical Context of Abortion
- Federal Abortion Policy and Politics: 1973 to 1996
—Brian L. Wilcox, Jennifer K. Robbennolt, and Janet E. O'Keeffe
- Why Is Abortion Such a Controversial Issue in the United States?
—Nancy Felipe Russo and Jean E. Denious
- Barriers to Access to Abortion Services
—Stanley K. Henshaw
- The Impact of Antiabortion Activities on Women Seeking Abortions
—Catherine Cozzarelli and Brenda Major
II. The Cultural Context of Abortion
- Black Women and the Question of Abortion
- Latinas and Abortion
—Pamela I. Erickson and Celia P. Kaplan
- Abortion and Asian Pacific Islander Americans
—Sora Park Tanjasiri and Sono Aibe
III. Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Contexts of Abortion
- The Acceptability of Medical Abortion to Women
—Linda J. Beckman and S. Marie Harvey
- Understanding the Relationship of Violence Against Women to Unwanted Pregnancy and Its Resolution
—Nancy Felipe Russo and Jean E. Denious
- Testing a Model of the Psychological Consequences of Abortion
—Warren B. Miller, David J. Pasta, and Catherine L. Dean
- Men and Abortion: The Gender Politics of Pregnancy Resolution
—William Marsiglio and Douglas Diekow
- Abortion Among Adolescents
—Nancy E. Adler, Lauren B. Smith, and Jeanne M. Tschann
IV. Abortion in the Context of Practice
- A Cognitive Approach to Patient-Centered Abortion Care
—Barbara Fisher, Mary Ann Castle, and Joan Mogul Garrity
- Abortion Issues in Psychotherapy
—Maria J. Rivera
- Bringing Lessons Learned to the United States: Improving Access to Abortion Services
—Saba W. Masho, Francine M. Coeytaux, and Malcolm Potts
- Where Do We Go From Here? Recommendations for Abortion Practice, Policy, and Research
—S. Marie Harvey, Linda J. Beckman, and Sheryl Thorburn Bird
About the Editors
This is an extremely useful collection of writings on the abortion issue that will be of interest to scholars, activists, and the general public. The book is noteworthy both for its breadth and the depth of its selections.
—Carole Joffe, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Davis
A must read for anyone in the reproductive health rights or human rights movement.
—Denise Shervington, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Medical Center
A valuable addition to the literature on the psychology of abortion, this book provides a broad overview of public policy, research, and practice issues about abortion…The editors acknowledge that their feminist beliefs and feminist scholarship shaped the content included in this volume. With but a few exception, this orientation does not detract from the objectivity, tone and substance of the book… [T]his volume is a valuable addition to the field of the psychology of abortion…the book contains some of the best information available in the mainstream psychological literature on abortion.
—Population and Environmental Psychology Bulletin/APA Division 34, Vol 25, No 3, Autumn 1999
The New Civil War is a significant addition to the literature of the contemporary abortion debate… The New Civil War should be on the shelves of medical as well as psychological practitioners and on the reading list of social scientists and historians concerned with reproductive issues.
—CHOICE, April 1999, Vol 36, No 8
If you… want to read an engaging, comprehensive, and persuasive example of how and why to do psychology in the public interest, this book is for you… Beckman and Harvey have assembled an interdisciplinary set of contributors in order to place abortion in its historical, cultural, and sociopolitical context…This is a book that will appeal to psychologists, lobbyists, policy-makes, clinic personnel, and students in psychology, medicine, women's studies, and political science. Most of the chapters are accessible to students, and I encourage faculty to consider adding to their syllabi some chapters from The New Civil War.
—Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24 (2000), 200–208