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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement Before Roe V. Wade (eBook)


ISBN13: 9780199391660
Published: February 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: eBook (ePub)
Price: £16.66 + £3.33 VAT
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Abortion is the most divisive issue in America's culture wars, seemingly creating a clear division between conservative members of the Religious Right and people who align themselves with socially and politically liberal causes. In Defenders of the Unborn, historian Daniel K. Williams complicates this perspective by offering a detailed, engagingly written narrative of the pro-life movement's mid-twentieth-century origins. He explains that the movement began long before Roe v. Wade, and traces its fifty-year history to explain how and why abortion politics have continued to polarize the nation up to the present day.

As this book shows, the pro-life movement developed not because of a backlash against women's rights, the sexual revolution, or the power of the Supreme Court, but because of an anxiety that devout Catholics-as well as Orthodox Jews, liberal Protestants, and others not commonly associated with the movement-had about living in a society in which the "inalienable" right to life was no longer protected in public law. As members of a movement grounded in the liberal human rights tradition of the 1960s, pro-lifers were winning the political debate on abortion policy up until the decision in Roe v.Wade deprived them of victory and forced them to ally with political conservatives, a move that eventually required a compromise of some of their core values.

Defenders of the Unborn draws from a wide range of previously unexamined archival sources to offer a new portrayal of the pro-life movement that will surprise people on both sides of the abortion debate.

Subjects:
Legal History, eBooks
Contents:
Introduction
Chapter 1: A Clash of Values
Chapter 2: The Political Fight Begins
Chapter 3: Initial Losses
Chapter 4: National Right to Life
Chapter 5: "Abortion on Demand"
Chapter 6: A New Image
Chapter 7: Progressive Politics
Chapter 8: National Battle
Chapter 9: After Roe
Epilogue
Notes
Index