Book Club, and Expecting is in Print Now!

2

Writing a book is a privilege; sharing it with others, for me, is a necessary pain, the end of a process, the final death, and also the beginning of promoting this thing I’ve already spent nearly two years wringing my … Continue reading

Rick Santorum: Really? REALLY?

Here is the Huffington post reporting on Rick Santorum’s interview with Piers Morgan last Friday:

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained his opposition to abortion even in cases of rape during an interview Friday, saying that women who face such circumstances should “make the best out of a bad situation.”

Asked by CNN’s Piers Morgan what he would do if his own daughter approached him, begging for an abortion after having been raped, Santorum explained that he would counsel her to “accept this horribly created” baby, because it was still a gift from God, even if given in a “broken” way.

When I sat down to start working on my novel, Expecting, back in late 2010, I was reacting to what was happening in America in regards to reproductive rights. I was reading articles and tracking the slow, consistent march toward restricting, or taking away, women’s access to reproductive care and preventive medicine. The New York Times printed a map, created by NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, tracking the number of “governors who are considered solidly anti-abortion” and you can see it for yourself here:

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/01/22/us/22abortion_graphic.html?ref=politics

In the early months of writing the first draft of Expecting, I was chagrined many times by my little book project about a pregnant-from-rape teenager, thinking I was overreacting, or being oversensitive, or second-guessing myself because it could never happen in this country — right? We Americans would never think of voting against a woman’s right to choose, or allow the overturn of Roe v. Wade, because Americans must remember what it was like for women’s health before Roe came along back in 1973, right? But that’s just it: some of us don’t remember life before Roe v. Wade (myself included, because I wasn’t born yet) and that is the problem. The problem is that some of us have forgotten, and some of us just don’t know.

In the recent past, if a woman asked her doctor for some birth control, the doctor might call the woman’s husband and ask his permission. A big family may not have been desired by your grandmother or your great-grandmother. Illegal abortions killed women, illegal abortions sometimes resulted in rape, and illegal abortions landed women in jail. Women have been “making the best of a bad situation” for a long time, and somewhere along the way, in the late ’60’s, some men and women came up with a way to make a bad situation better. After reading a book by Laura Kaplan called The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service, I learned that some of the biggest supporters and facilitators of illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade were clergymen. Also, a quick search on Guttmacher.org reveals that abortion numbers are highest in countries where birth control and abortions are severely restricted, and abortion numbers are lowest in countries where abortion policy is liberal. Pregnancy from rape happens in about 1% of rapes, and most abortions in America are had by married women who already have children.