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Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in a Post-Roe America

Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in a Post-Roe America

Author Shefali Luthra
Publisher Doubleday
Publication Date 2024-05-21
Section New Hardcover - Nonfiction / Sociology
Type New
Format Hardccover
ISBN 9780385550086

An urgent, intimate investigation into the experience of seeking an abortion after the fall of Roe v. Wade, and the economic, emotional, and life-threatening consequences of being denied reproductive freedom.

On June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the impact was immediate: by 2023, abortion was virtually unavailable or significantly restricted in 21 states. As other nations largely expand legal abortion access, the U.S. has gone backwards; the bans being enforced in many states are some of the most severe in the entire world.

In Undue Burden, reporter Shefali Luthra traces the unforgettable stories of patients faced with one of the most personal decisions of their lives. Outside of Houston, there’s a 16-year-old girl who becomes pregnant well before she intends to. A 21-year-old mother barely making ends meet has to travel hundreds of miles in secret to access care in another state. A 42-year-old woman with a life-threatening condition wants nothing more than to safely carry her pregnancy to term, but her home state’s abortion bans fail to provide her with the options she needs to make an informed decision. And a 19-year-old trans man struggles to access care in Florida as abortion bans radiate across the American South.

Before, it was a common misconception that abortion restrictions affected only people in certain states, but left one's own life untouched. Now, patients forced to travel to access care creates a domino effect across the entire country. As the landscape of abortion rights continues to shift, the experiences of these patients—those who had to cross state lines to seek life-saving care, who risked everything they had in pursuit of their own bodily autonomy, and who were unable to plan their reproductive future in the way that they deserved—illustrates how fragile the system is, and how devastating the consequences can be.

Through the perspectives of patients, providers, activists, and lawmakers, Undue Burden is a revelatory portrait of human rights, healthcare, and economic and racial inequality in America.

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