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Without Apology

Stettner, Shannon (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press

Until the late 1960s, the authorities on abortion were for the most part men—politicians, clergy, lawyers, physicians, all of whom had an interest in regulating women’s bodies. Even today, when we hear women speak publicly about abortion, the voices are usually those of the leaders of women’s and abortion rights organizations, women who hold political office, and, on occasion, female physicians. We also hear quite frequently from spokeswomen for anti-abortion groups. Rarely, however, do we hear the voices of ordinary women—women whose lives have been in some way touched by abortion. Their thoughts typically owe more to human circumstance than to ideology, and without them, we run the risk of thinking and talking about the issue of abortion only in the abstract.

Without Apology seeks to address this issue by gathering the voices of activists, feminists, and scholars as well as abortion providers and clinic support staff alongside the stories of women whose experience with abortion is more personal. With the particular aim of moving beyond the polarizing rhetoric that has characterized the issue of abortion and reproductive justice for so long, Without Apology is an engrossing and arresting account that will promote both reflection and discussion.

With contributions by Aalya Ahmad, Tracey L. Anderson, Jane Cawthorne, Peggy Cooke, Shannon Dea, Carolyn Egan, Linda Gardner, Laura Gillespie, Sterling Haynes, E.K. Hornbeck, Clarissa Hurley, “Dr. James”, H. Bindy K. Kang, Kristen, Natalie Lochwin, Mackenzie, Colleen MacQuarrie, Ruth Miller, Judith Mintz, Erin Mullan, Jen Rinaldi, Sadie Roberts, Martha Solomon, Shannon Stettner, Karen Stote, Nick Van der Graaf, Bernadette Wagner, Laura Wershler, Shannon West, Ellen Wiebe, and Jess Woolford.


“Finally, there's a resource that comprehensively and thoroughly explores the history and evolution of reproductive rights in Canada. [...] A great resource for anyone looking for information about the evolution of abortion rights, regulations, and laws in Canada, but also a great read for anyone interested in the role of abortion rights in the history of the feminist movement.”


"Heartbreaking and enraging. . . . A commendable survey of abortion in Canada that gives space to a wide range of voices while also acknowledging the work still to be done."


"An excellent example of how Canadian historians can make their scholarship more accessible to a public audience. Stettner's collection shows how the field of women's history can combine scholarly and activist agendas through history. [...] While many of the essays draw on personal and anecdotal evidence, they provide historical insight into how far the pro-choice movement has come in Canada and where it should go next. This book will be useful to academics, women's health practitioners, policymakers, and members of the public who want to understand Canada's abortion debate in the past and in the present."


Shannon Stettner teaches in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is the co-founder of the Reproductive Activism and Abortion Research Network.

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