Abortion Regret explores the emergence and consolidation of the antiabortion movement’s paternalistic efforts to “protect” women from abortion regret. It begins by examining the 19th-century physician’s campaign to criminalize abortion and traces the contours of the women-protective abortion regret narrative through to the 21st century. Based on interviews, textual analysis of primary sources, and a content analysis of state antiabortion policy from 2010-2015, the authors argue that the contemporary rise of the abortion regret narrative has armed the antiabortion movement with a unifying and compelling strategy to oppose abortion through a woman-centered approach.
In addition to covering the historical origins of our nation’s criminal abortion laws, the book covers topics that include the origins and growth of crisis pregnancy centers, including recent efforts provide perinatal hospice services; an analysis of leading Supreme Court decisions on abortion; the emergence of the “pro-woman/pro-life” antiabortion platform, including its deeply religious roots; the infiltration of this position into the political and legal spheres in the guise of a secular rationale for limiting access to abortion; and an evidence-based rejoinder to the position that abortion harms women.
- Examines the historical continuity of the abortion regret narrative as a political strategy used to limit women’s access to abortion
- Asserts that the abortion regret narrative is intimately tied to a gendered and paternalistic construction of women’s divine role as mothers
- Examines the antiabortion movement’s strategy to place the “grieving” mother at the center of its oppositional narrative
- Uses interviews, textual analysis of primary sources, and content analysis of state antiabortion policies to trace the growing impact of the abortion regret narrative
- Examines and reveals the antiabortion movement’s calculated political motivation for using the abortion regret narrative as its primary strategy to oppose abortion rights