Abortion has been legal for nearly fifty years in the United States, but with a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court and an emboldened opposition in the street, the threat to its existence has never been more pressing. Clinic escorts-everyday volunteers-are prepared to stand up and protect abortion access, as they have for decades, even in the face of terrorism and violence.
The book is thick with testimonies from dozens of clinic escorts, but none of them stick around or stand out enough to give the text an emotional or narrative core. Details of the escorts’ histories run together, in part because their work is, by nature, repetitive ... With the great breadth of case studies she conveys, Rankin leaves little room to explore the thornier questions she glances past ... Rankin implies that lawmakers should impose greater penalties and restrictions on demonstrators, but she never lays out exactly what the ideal set of laws would be, or how they would balance the competing rights of patients and protesters.
[Rankin] does not shield the reader from the 'antis’ endless haranguing and uses clinic-escort and patient interviews from around the country—including her own experience as an escort—to stress the importance of this purpose-driven work. An ode to her fellow volunteers and a rallying cry for the fundamental rights that now hang so perilously close to abolition.
... timely, engaging, and full of compassion ... This sweeping history will leave readers wanting to learn more. It is both a celebration of devoted volunteer clinic escorts and a call to action to improve the circumstances under which people seek health care.