By Wendy Simonds
These are the questions that force Wendy Simonds' Abortion at Work. Simonds files the methods in which employees at a feminist sanatorium build compelling feminist visions, and in addition watch their beliefs fall brief in perform. Simonds translates those women's narratives to get at how abortion works on feminism, and to express what feminism can achieve through rethinking abortion using those activists' phrases. In completely attractive prose, Simonds frames her research with a relocating account of her personal own realizing of the issues.
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Extra resources for Abortion at work: ideology and practice in a feminist clinic
Language on both "sides" of the issue slants purposefully in opposite directions. Anti-abortion factions personify the fetus and either erase women from the picture (and from their grotesque pictures) altogether or depict aborting women as neglecting their God-given calling as mothers. The pro-choice movement declares the when-does-life-begin question unanswerable and, thus, irrelevant, and makes use of both liberalism and capitalism in crafting its language. As Barbara Katz Rothman points out, prochoice rhetoric describes women as individual self-owners entitled to control over our bodies.
Sexual activity led to disease, and then, along with painful sores, it led to humiliationand a bad reputation for girlswhen you had to tell your partners they might have the disease too. We watched many films about disease; poor actors experienced burning sensations, broke out in rashes and hideous sores, and, ultimately, felt regretful and ashamed because they had to 'fess up. We also saw film versions of sperm and egg uniting, like underwater sea creatures. We made carefully labeled drawings of the reproductive organs of men and women: vulva, urethra, fallopian tubes, vas deferens (which I remembered by thinking of Dick Van Dyke).
The pro-choice movement declares the when-does-life-begin question unanswerable and, thus, irrelevant, and makes use of both liberalism and capitalism in crafting its language. As Barbara Katz Rothman points out, prochoice rhetoric describes women as individual self-owners entitled to control over our bodies. If I "own" my body, it is mine, and anything within it counts as my property. Thus, abortion becomes an exercise in unarguably justifiable individualism (Rothman 1989). Meanwhile, anti-abortionists attempt to muster grass-roots support by scorning women's decision making (in favor of abortion) as misguided egotism that bespeaks the downfall of "family values," the rise of selfishness (the opposite of "natural'' maternalism).