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Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present

Author: Mary Ziegler

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2020, pp. 326

Since the Supreme Court seems likely to reverse Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion decision, American debate appears fixated on clashing rights. This work draws attention to an entirely different and unexpected shift in the terms of debate: instead of simply championing their own rights, those on opposing sides debated about the policy costs and benefits of abortion vs. the laws restricting it. This mostly unrecognized development deepened polarization. Whilst maintaining their constitutional demands, pro-choice and pro-life advocates increasingly disagreed about the basic facts. Drawing on unexplored records and interviews with key participants, Ziegler challenges the view that the Supreme Court is primarily responsible for the escalation of the conflict and charts social-movements divides and crucial legal strategies.