Safe, Legal, and Unavailable? Abortion Politics in the United States

SAGE Publications, 2007 - 235 páginas

The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Yet while the medical procedure is legal—and safe—many women across the country do not have the ability to exercise this reproductive right. Melody Rose examines abortion as a social regulatory policy, thoughtfully and thoroughly chronicling the erosion of abortion rights and availability since Roe. Paying respect to all views of this controversial topic in her engaging new book, Rose explores the success of the right-to-life movement in accumulating local and national policies that restrict access to abortion while enhancing fetal protections. In addition to a basic and brief primer on the practice and history of abortion, Rose considers the roles played by the courts, political parties, and interest groups in constructing barriers to abortion. With an examination of public opinion poll data and a look at both state and national statutory prohibitions on abortion, Rose also shows how powerful language wars have resulted in material policy alterations. Chapter-opening vignettes and vivid storytelling make this brief and topical supplement a good read that is sure to get your students thinking critically about this highly charged topic. As well, the author has augmented chapters with further reading suggestions and provocative discussion questions that invite insightful discussion and analysis.

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Melody Rose is associate professor of political science at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University where she teaches courses in American government and politics and is the Program Director of NEW LeadershipTM Oregon, an affiliate of the NEW LeadershipTM Development Network, which partners with Rutgers University to offer political and leadership training programs to college women in Oregon. She has authored a number of articles and book chapters on national and Oregon social policy and is writing two books: She Flies with Her Own Wings, an analysis of the oral histories of Oregon’s first elected political women; and an encyclopedia of primary source documents on abortion history. Rose has served on the Board of Directors for the Classroom Law Project, a non-profit organization that seeks to train K-12 teachers in civic education curricula and strategies, and is a regular political analyst on local, state, and national media on matters of elections, voting, and women’s political action. Rose lives in Portland with her husband and their four children.

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