The Search for an Abortionist
Author: Nancy Howell Lee (no website found)
Publisher: Open Road Media
(Originally published 1969 by the University of Chicago Press)
Author Nancy Howell's "Preface, 2014" has an error in the second line, where the word 'radical' is repeated.
In fictional works, I routinely skip the introduction or prologue or whatever the writer chooses to name it, because there is no place for such a thing in a novel. In non-fiction (which I do not review often on my blog) I do tend to read such things, and so I have to say that I wasn't impressed with Mark Crispin Miller's introductory rant in which he posits unsubstantiated claims of stealthy censorship. Yes, he may be right. In fact, I don't doubt that there have been cases where novels and other works have ended up buried for one reason or another, but whether there is a huge number of such episodes. and whether the effort to suppress written works is active, and/or concerted, and/or widespread remains only an hypothesis with no supportive evidence offered here, notwithstanding the conviction of those who declare it to be so.
Moreover, I can see how these claims might have had some basis in fact in the past, when Big Publishing™ ruled the roost, but that case no longer holds. We live in the era of the Internet where pretty much anyone (assuming that they have access of course) can post pretty much anything. Even those who cannot afford a computer can use machines in their local library. There is no censorship here; neither government nor Big Publishing™ exercise any control over this. No matter how true or otherwise these assertions may have been historically, in an era of easy and free self-publishing, claims such as those which Miller makes have no foundation upon which to secure a sound lodging.
As far as the book itself goes, it's not really for reading, it's much more of reference, since it's less like a textbook than it is a scientific study (which is what it actually is, of course!). However, that should not prevent anyone from reading the salient points in this, because that's the real value of this book, and that's the topic on which people need to be educated, and this book will educate you to the reality of life when abortion was common but not legal and was definitely not safe.
Religious fanatics have been trying to drag us back to the stone age for a long time (before that, they were trying to keep us in the stone age!). Their absurd assault on a woman's reproductive rights isn't anything new. They've been assaulting women in one way or another since the Bible was first invented by blinkered, cantankerous old men. The problem is that the present wave of professional oppressionists is just as blinkered. They cannot see that you cannot keep people in ignorance of contraception, and prevent people from obtaining it, and then not expect that unwanted pregnancies will be one serious result, yet this is precisely what these morons do.
They are also hypocites. They claim to live by Biblical principles yet depart from them as soon as they become even slightly inconvenient. The Biblical god quite evidently had no problem aborting literally thousands of people whether they were babies or not. That god quite clearly had no respect for life. The Bible definition of life was when the baby took its first breath after departing the vaginal canal and thereby inhaled the spirit of this god. The Bible most certainly does not define life as beginning at conception any more than we do today. If we did, then everyone would be nine months older. Your birthday is the day you are born, not the day you're conceived. These people are morons.
But true as that may be, that's not the premise of this book. The premise is that people will get abortions whether they are legal or not, and will suffer far worse if they are illegal than if they are legal. Women are not dumb, nor are they as cowardly as the anti-abortion psychos, and they will take care of their needs whether Biblically sanctioned or not. The first step to understanding what this means in the real world is to read this book and thereby arm yourself against the propaganda and outright lies put out by those who are supposed to adhere to the injunction not to bear false witness.