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When Abortion Was a Crime


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Winner of the 1995 President's Book Award, Social Science History Association and Choice Outstanding Book of 1997.

Table of Contents

1 An Open Secret
2 Private Practices
3 Antiabortion Campaigns, Private and Public
4 Interrogations and Investigations
5 Expansion and Specialization
6 Raids and Rules
7 Repercussions
8 Radicalization of Reform
Epilogue: Post-Roe, Post-Casey

About the Author

Leslie J. Reagan is Professor of History, with affiliations in gender and women's studies, law, media and cinema studies, and medicine, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America (UC Press) and coeditor of Medicine's Moving Pictures: Medicine, Health, and Bodies in American Film and Television.


"The first to span the whole period of criminalization and to cover the subject in such depth. . . .Important and original, vigorously written. . . .Rich, thought-provoking, and revelatory." -- Katha Pollitt, * The Atlantic *

"A brilliant account of the era before the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. . . .A model of social history, supported by a spectacular wealth of documentary evidence. . . .This well-written book is a stellar, complex, and accessible volume that will stand as the definitive history for years to come."

-- Rickie Solinger, * The San Francisco Chronicle *
"Essential." -- Frank Rich, * New York Times *
"A first-rate exposition of the changing cultural and legal climate regarding abortion in America." -- Thomas Szasz, * The Washington Post *
"Reagan brings a new perspective to the history of illegal abortion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries." -- Jane Hodgson, * Journal of the American Medical Association *
"For those who take abortion for granted, Reagan's work is an eye-opener." * Publishers Weekly *

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