Something interesting happens when you remove the decades-old social and political arguments over abortion and simply listen to women's personal stories of it: You begin to focus on the people at the center of the debate rather than the rhetoric. Feminist activist Jennifer Baumgardner's latest book, Abortion & Life, collects several women's experiences of getting pregnant, making the decision to end the pregnancy, and life after the abortion. The stories in the book are a companion to Baumgardner's "I Had An Abortion" campaign and film with which she encouraged women to discuss their abortions openly and honestly. The book includes, along with a history of abortion and the current pro-choice movement, testimonials from the famous (Ani DiFranco, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Gloria Steinem) and everyday women who have found the courage to discuss the topic without shame. Whether you view the contributors to this book as women merely exercising control over their own bodies, or as sinners who are guilty of nothing short of murder, the power of their stories are undeniable, and Baumgardner's voice for her side of the issue is clear and well-written.
Tue., July 29, 7:30 p.m., 2008