The best books on abortion 📚

Browse the best books on abortion as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light

By Jodi Picoult

Why this book?

This is a page-turner of a novel about a shooting at a women’s reproductive health services clinic in Mississippi, where the 15-year-old daughter of the hostage negotiator is caught inside the clinic. A variety of people are trapped inside the clinic for hours that day. The shooter, the daughter, the hostage negotiator, the abortion doctor, a pro-life protestor who was spying inside the clinic, and a woman who just had an abortion in the clinic–their characters and motivations are all very understandable to me, which makes the tension about this horrible situation that much more riveting. 

From the list:

The best novels about reproductive freedom

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Book cover of Abortion in Early Modern Italy

Abortion in Early Modern Italy

By John Christopoulos

Why this book?

Who would have thought Catholic Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries would have tolerated widespread abortion? John Christopoulos brilliantly shows that, despite the moral proscription and legal prohibition of abortion from church and state leadership, women across the social spectrum from elites to peasants practiced abortion with the tacit or explicit support of key people in their communities. Compelling mini-narratives about individual women’s abortion stories are interwoven with an expert analysis of the legal, religious, and scientific knowledge and attitudes.

From the list:

The best books on the history of sex to understand where we are now

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Book cover of Still Explosion: A Laura Malloy Mystery

Still Explosion: A Laura Malloy Mystery

By Mary Logue

Why this book?

As a former newspaper reporter, I identified with this book. Newspaper reporter Laura Malloy has walked into the Lakewood Family Planning Clinic in St. Paul to interview the director of the clinic when a bomb goes off in the hallway and the young man very near her dies as Laura is propelled backward through the door. Laura tries to find whoever made the bomb, meeting with the young man’s girlfriend, who was at the clinic to get an abortion, his mother and brother, the head of the “pro-life” group, his wife, and others. I found this murder mystery to be…

From the list:

The best novels about reproductive freedom

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Book cover of Mercy Street

Mercy Street

By Jennifer Haigh

Why this book?

This bighearted, heartbreaking story about the abortion wars is also paradoxically one of the funniest books I’ve ever read; there’s a page in the middle that I’ll reread again and again whenever I need a smile. The plot revolves around Claudia, a longtime employee of a Boston clinic that’s besieged by protesters who threaten the sort of political violence that’s become all too commonplace in polarized America, creating an insistent drumbeat of menace. But Mercy Street is not a polemic, and the antagonists are treated with deep empathy and humanity. Possibly my favorite novel of the past few years.

From the list:

The best suspense novels that are actually about something bigger

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Book cover of Practical Ethics

Practical Ethics

By Peter Singer

Why this book?

There’s a common prejudice that philosophy has nothing to do with the world in which non-philosophers live. I read Practical Ethics as an undergraduate and it came as a revelation. In crystal-clear prose, and with compelling logic, Singer addresses many issues in applied morality – abortion, capital punishment, charity, animal rights. Although some of his conclusions are radical, they’re hard to dissent from. Not long after reading the book I became a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat since.

From the list:

The best philosophy books to read before you turn 25 (or after!)

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Book cover of The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

By Ian Urbina

Why this book?

Urbina gives a shocking and vital account of the human and environmental troubles that are taking place across the ocean, out of sight beyond the horizon. From cases of modern-day slavery and murder aboard fishing vessels to the tricks played by whaling ships and cruise ships to avoid detection of their environmental crimes.

From the list:

The best books about the ocean and seas

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