In light of recent events this year, I’d say that My Body, My Choice by Robin Stevenson could not have come fast enough. There’s so much involved in abortion politics and far more often than not a vast number of individuals show an incredible amount of ignorance on this subject. Even worse, those making the decision to put policies into place are not people who ever would even have to consider having an abortion because men are incapable of carrying a fetus. And the fact of the matter is that the policymakers have more interest in policing women’s bodies than they do in ensuring that supposed children are not killed. For you see, a fetus is merely a collection of cells that has the potential to be a child and these lawmakers could care less about whether or not that child survives once it’s been born, as shown quite clearly in the fact that many do not care to support common-sense gun laws and are regularly against welfare programs that take care of and provide food for the children they are forcing to be born.
Now, with that said, My Body, My Choice is an in-depth, expertly detailed account of the history of abortion and women fighting for it as well as a resource for those who wish to truly understand the subject. This book is well researched, filled with numerous accounts not only from the people who have fought for it as a right but also from the people who continue to fight for it. Not only does Stevenson do an excellent job of research for her book she also manages to present the information in a very matter-of-fact manner, leaving readers with a genuine account of the situation at hand and provides a large amount of information for everyone to learn from. My Body, My Choice is superbly written and addresses various underlying issues that surround abortion, fro birth control and women’s health services to forced sterilization that has disproportionately affected women of color over the years. The politics surrounding one’s personal bodily autonomy significantly affect all women, but in so many ways these issues provide an immense negative impact on women who belong to a minority group.
But the fact of the matter is that these issues need to be discussed, the attack on women’s health and women’s rights needs to be discussed. And they need to be discussed regularly. Some men in power–and largely these are white men in power–would be thrilled if they could silence women. They would love to be able to turn back the clock to a time in which the only ones they had to compete with were themselves. They exert control over women as much as they are able and in a large way, that includes denying them education and providing them with as much misinformation as they can. This is done through schools that are not permitted to provide accurate health-ed classes, instead pushing an abstinence agenda that causes more unwanted pregnancies and, as a result, abortions than it prevents. This is done through people who stand outside abortion clinics or create fake abortion clinics in order to manipulate and lie to young women seeking abortions in a misguided attempt to prevent them from going through with it. But the amazing thing is that books like this provide us all with vast amounts of information that we can use to fight back, to bring these issues out into the light in a way that not only attacks the outright lies but can empower others to take a stand. I know that just reading about all the amazing people who fought for abortion rights in the past definitely makes me want to fight to ensure that all of their hard work is not reversed by ignorant men who wish largely to control women.
And this book is a treasure trove of information, not only in its detailed history but in the way it presents facts about the ongoing struggle now. Not only that but My Body, My Choice also discusses and provides resources to those who find they may need them in the future. It shows that even though there are people out there who will work hard and tirelessly to deny us our rights, there are those who are going to fight as hard as possible to keep them. We have something to lose and so we will fight even harder. And thankfully books like these exist to educate and help women and men alike. One of the best things about this book is the fact that it even provides access to resources that are incredibly useful by opening one’s eyes to a large number of organizations that many of us were likely unaware of.
Most of all, I’m just glad that this book exists.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.