Legal titans Kathryn Kolbert and Julie F. Kay share the story of one of the most divisive issues in American politics through behind-the-scenes personal narratives of losses, victories, and accounts of women and health care providers at the heart of nearly five decades of legal battles. At this make-or-break moment for legal abortion in the United States, Kolbert and Kay propose new strategies inspired by medical advances, state-level protections, human rights models, and activists across the globe whose courage and determination are making a difference. No more banging our heads against the Court's marble walls. It is time for a new direction.
... urgently needed ... Both authors are undeniably experts in reproductive health policy and law; thankfully, they also know how to explain issues clearly and without rhetoric. Controlling Women includes a concise and accessible history of US abortion laws and the movement for reproductive justice and offers cogent recommendations that go beyond protecting abortion to include women’s rights more generally. It’s a good read, and while these subjects have been well covered by other writers, the pair’s reflections jolt the familiar and offer a fascinating behind-the-curtain glimpse at court machinations ... As I’m sure you’ll agree, none of these are new, or even radical, suggestions. This, however, is not to say that the book lacks vision. Indeed, Kolbert and Kay want nothing less than full equality for women, and they believe that it is possible to enact laws that promote dignity, respect, and decency.
... concise and pragmatic ... Their book is neither reassuring nor despairing ... Their book is not intended to convince anti-abortion stalwarts to change their minds; it is written as a blueprint for advocates of reproductive justice. The steps it outlines go beyond access to contraception or abortion clinics; taking a holistic approach, it emphasizes the need for universal health care and affordable child care ... The authors make clear that the ability to determine for oneself how and when to bear children is a human right and is essential to a person’s agency over their own life and future. An essential guide; recommended for all collections.
... passionate, informative ... A solid primer on reproductive rights litigation and the path forward. Readers will want to pair this with The Turnaway Study (2020), by Diana Greene Foster and Killing the Black Body (1997), by Dorothy E. Roberts for more perspective.