Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Linda Greenhouse: The Rhetoric That Shaped The Abortion Debate

Linda Greenhouse: The Rhetoric That Shaped The Abortion Debate
Fresh Air (NPR)

Before the Supreme Court struck down many state laws restricting abortion in the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade, the Justices read briefs from both abortion-rights supporters and opponents.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse has collected the best of these briefs — as well as important documents leading up to the decision — in a new book, Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling.

In an interview on Fresh Air, Greenhouse explains the arguments in favor of decriminalizing abortion — and the rhetoric used by both sides of the debate that continues to resonate more than 35 years after Roe.

After researching the book, Greenhouse says, she came away with a more nuanced understanding of how the abortion debate has affected so many other issues.

"What the research did indicate to me is how multifaceted the issue is and how the word [abortion] came over time to stand for so much more than the termination of a pregnancy," she says. "It really came to stand for a debate about the place of women in the world."

To Read More and To Listen to the Interview

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