We are now more than thirty years away from the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, yet the controversy over abortion has not diminished. Although the “pro-choice” forces increasingly acknowledge the central claim of the “pro-life” side–that abortion is a morally portentous act–they continue to insist that the well-being of women is absolutely dependent on the legal right to abortion. The twelve essays in The Cost of “Choice,” all written by women active in the public square, dispute this claim. These authors argue that over the last three decades, legal abortion has had harmful effects on women–socially, medically, psychologically and culturally.
Law professor Elizabeth Schiltz, for instance, describes the intense social reaction she experienced when she
chose” to carry to term a child with Down syndrome, and she argues that a widespread acceptance of eugenic abortion has made us see what is a moral issue in narrow cost/benefit terms. Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, presents evidence supporting a link between induced abortion and increased risk of breast cancer. Psychiatrist Joanne Angelo writes about how abortion has psychologically and spiritually affected the lives of women she has treated.
Including essays by eminent figures such as Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Elizabeth Fox Genovese, Eleonore Raoul Professor of the Humanities at Emory University, The Cost of “Choice” captures the moral, legal, medical and political complexities surrounding abortion. Agree or disagree, the reader will concur that the gravity that should accompany any discussion of this difficult subject is fully on display in this insightful and instructive book.