by Angie Leventis Lourgos
University of Missouri Press, 2023
eISBN: 978-0-8262-7494-6 | Cloth: 978-0-8262-2298-5
Library of Congress Classification HQ767.5.U5L687 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 362.1988800977

The demise of Roe v. Wade dramatically altered abortion access across the United States, igniting a new era of polarization over reproductive rights as roughly half of all states moved to ban or significantly restrict terminating a pregnancy. Yet even before the U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion on June 24, 2022, people across large swaths of the country were already facing enormous obstacles to ending a pregnancy, including mandatory waiting periods, early gestational limits, and a dearth of abortion providers. Life-Altering: Abortion Stories from the Midwest shares the narratives of women who have terminated pregnancies, despite these barriers, chronicling how laws and court cases can shape the lives and reproductive decisions of individuals.

Based on her coverage of reproductive rights for the Chicago Tribune, veteran journalist Angie Leventis Lourgos explores these personal accounts to delve into the most nuanced aspects of abortion, from life-threatening cases to terminations later in gestation to restrictions for minors. The reporting spans the time before Roe and continues through the first year after the landmark Supreme Court case’s stunning reversal, which spurred some of the most stringent abortion laws of the past half-century—as well as new and innovative means of access.

From interviews Lourgos conducted with women across the Midwest, Life-Altering examines different facets of abortion from the perspectives of those who ended their pregnancies, illustrating how court cases, state legislation, and religious beliefs can affect the lives and reproductive choices of ordinary people. By looking at myriad factors that influence the decision whether or not to abort a pregnancy— be they socio-economic, religious, legal, or medical—the accounts collected in this volume challenge the conventional labels of “pro-life” and “pro-choice .”

See other books on: Abortion | Abortion & Birth Control | Middle West | Midwest | Women's Health
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