In About Abortion, Carol Sanger serves up a textured, heavily referenced analysis that, in keeping with her other work, is also witty and highly readable. By connecting three themes, “law, talk and imagery” (xi) the book is a definitive multidisciplinary account of twenty-first-century abortion policy in the United States.

Sanger observes that “unlike other medical procedures performed at about the same rate—knee surgery, for example—abortion has a social and political economy of its own: a mix of private decision making and public policy, constitutional rights and statutory constraints, with moral conviction standing firm, for the most part, on both sides of the issue” (x). Consider that abortion is safe, cost-effective care and demanded by approximately one in four women in the United States, yet it alone enjoys heightened constitutional protection relative to other health services. At the same time, abortion is...

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