Virtual Event: Julie F. Kay and Kathryn Kolbert
What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom
in conversation with MARY ZIEGLER
October 25, 2021
5:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes eminent legal scholars and reproductive rights activists JULIE F. KAY and KATHRYN KOLBERT for a discussion of their co-authored book, Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom. They will be joined in conversation by MARY ZIEGLER, renowned historian of the abortion debate in the United States.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Controlling Women on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Controlling Women
Reproductive freedom has never been in more dire straits. Roe v. Wade protected abortion rights and Planned Parenthood v. Casey unexpectedly preserved them. Yet in the following decades these rights have been gutted by restrictive state legislation, the appointment of hundreds of anti-abortion judges, and violence against abortion providers. Today, the ultra-conservative majority at the Supreme Court has activists, medical providers, and everyday Americans worry that we are about to lose our most fundamental reproductive protections.
When Roe is toppled, abortion may quickly become a criminal offense in nearly one-third of the United States. At least six states have enacted bans on abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy—before many women are even aware they are pregnant. Today, 89% of U.S. counties do not have a single abortion provider, in part due to escalating violence and intimidation aimed at disrupting services. We should all be free to make these personal and private decisions that affect our lives and wellbeing without government interference or bias, but we can no longer depend on Roe v. Wade and the federal courts to preserve our liberties.
Legal titans Kathryn Kolbert and Julie F. Kay share the story of one of the most divisive issues in American politics through behind-the-scenes personal narratives of stunning losses, hard-earned victories, and moving accounts of women and health care providers at the heart of nearly five decades of legal battles. At this make-or-break moment for legal abortion in the United States, Kolbert and Kay propose audacious new strategies inspired by medical advances, state-level protections, human rights models, and activists across the globe whose courage and determination are making a difference.
No more banging our heads against the Court’s marble walls. It is time for a new direction.
Praise for Controlling Women
“The story feels both old and new. The wins, the backlash—it’s exhausting. How many times do women have to shout their abortions? How many times do women have to demand to have a voice about our own skin? But while Kay and Kolbert provide a necessary and urgent primer on the history of reproductive rights in America, they don’t just end the story here in this moment, where reproductive rights are under attack like never before, they push the conversation forward. Instead of making their mission smaller, they are expanding the vision of reproductive justice to include 'healthcare for all,' better sex ed, expanding access to birth control, reducing sexual abuse, violence, and harassment, and reducing maternal deaths.” —Lyz Lenz, author of Belabored
"Urgent and timely. . . . Kolbert and Kay’s pressing, informative, and engaging book is leading the charge in the right direction." —Gloria Steinem
“Kathryn Kolbert and Julie F. Kay, unparalleled experts, have written a rich, smart, and engaging book about why reproductive freedom is the crux of women's rights and equality. It's essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of democracy.” —Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her
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