Breaking the Abortion Deadlock: From Choice to Consent / Edition 1

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This is a brilliant book. It resolves the tension central to much feminist imagery: that the fetus is not a living being and yet that pregnancy, like mothering, is a nurturing act (nurturing of what?)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Eileen McDonagh makes an original and provocative argument which has the potential to transform our understanding of abortion and secure not only the right to abortion, but also abortion funding. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in abortion rights."--Patricia Ireland, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)

"Drawing on the traditional legal doctrine of consent, Eileen McDonagh constructs a powerful, new, women-centered framework for abortion rights based on a woman's right to consent to pregnancy. Professor McDonagh's intriguing analysis turns anti-abortion rhetoric and anti-abortion state policy on their heads, and offers a strong foundation for abortion rights generaly and the government's obligation to provide Medicaid funding for poor women more particularly. Well-argued and well-researched, Breaking the Abortion Deadlock is a must read for all activists, scholars, attorneys, and policy makers involved in the debate over abortion rights."--Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation

"Eileen McDonagh's vivid argument is an important addition to the literature on abortion."--Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School

"McDonagh's timely and powerful argument for choice analyzes how the state's treatment of the fetus as a person can strengthen, rather than weaken, women's right not only to an abortion, but to abortion funding. Her approach is unique in its combination of arguments based on equality, consent, and the state's duty to protect all citizens. It is analytically rigorous on a formal level and compelling on deeper levels. This book is courageous, innovative, and directly addresses a weakness many have found in the pro-choice movement." Mary E. Becker, The University of Chicago School of Law

"Eileen McDonagh provides the most original and provocative defense of the morality of abortion that has appeared in decades. It is a lucid and sophisticated exploration of contemporary thinking on a difficult human issue."--Sylvia A. Law, New York University Law School

"Very few discussions of abortion really consider the position of a woman who is pregnant and doesn't want to be. Eileen McDonaghs book should make it impossible for anyone who takes abortion seriously to ignore her arguments."-- Loftus E. Becker, Jr., University of Connecticut School of Law

"McDonagh offers a provocative thesis: If a woman has the right to defend herself against a rapist, she also should be able to use deadly force to expel a fetus....Dr. McDonagh is turning a popular anti-abortion argument on its head. Abortion oppenents argue that a woman doesn't have the right to choose to terminate the life of a fetus. Dr. McDonagh says the fetus doesn't have the right to invade a woman's body."--Chronicle of Higher Education

"A brilliant book....McDonagh's readiness to meet the pro-life argument on its own ground, accepting the possibility of fetal personhood, allows her to come to a more compelling defense of abortion rights than pro-choice advocates or than the Roe v. Wade decision, itself. McDonagh's reframing of the abortion debate as about consent rather than choice is breathtaking in its originality and in the depth of its scholarship."-- Mary Katzenstein, Cornell University

"[This] groundbreaking study provocatively challenges us to see abortion from a new perspective. The layered, compelling logic of McDonagh's thesis, the extensive documentation and research supporting each step of her argument, and the politically powerful implications of extending hallowed, established legal rights to the situation of a pregnancy not consented to, makes this book of utmost importance to anyone thinking about women's rights, reproductive and privacy laws, and government obligations to assist women negotiating their reproductive decisions."--The Law and Politics Book Review

"Eileen McDonaugh understands that the fuse that ignites the emotional powderkeg is choice, and she strives to avoid the volatility of the dichotomy of choice. By reframing the debate as one about consent rather than choice (pro-choice or anti-choice), McDonaugh offers an original, well-argued defense of abortion rights."--Medium

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195091427
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/24/1996
  • Edition description: FACSIMILE
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen L. McDonagh is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University and a Visiting Scholar at the Murray Research Center, Radcliffe College.

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