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In an age in which women's reproductive rights are increasingly under attack, a minister and ethicist offers a stirring argument that abortion can be a moral good Here's a fact that we often ignore: unplanned pregnancy and abortion are a normal part of women's reproductive lives. Roughly one-third of US women will have an abortion by age forty-five, and fifty to sixty perce In an age in which women's reproductive rights are increasingly under attack, a minister and ethicist offers a stirring argument that abortion can be a moral good Here's a fact that we often ignore: unplanned pregnancy and abortion are a normal part of women's reproductive lives. Roughly one-third of US women will have an abortion by age forty-five, and fifty to sixty percent of the women who have abortions were using birth control during the month they got pregnant. Yet women who have abortions are routinely shamed and judged, and safe and affordable access to abortion is under relentless assault, with the most devastating impact on poor women and women of color. Rebecca Todd Peters, a Presbyterian minister and social ethicist, argues that this shaming and judging reflects deep, often unspoken patriarchal and racist assumptions about women and women's sexual activity. These assumptions are at the heart of what she calls the justification framework, which governs our public debate about abortion, and disrupts our ability to have authentic public discussions about the health and well-being of women and their families. Abortion, then, isn't the social problem we should be focusing on. The problem is our inability to trust women to act as rational, capable, responsible moral agents who must weigh the concrete moral question of what to do when they are pregnant or when there are problems during a pregnancy. Ambitious in method and scope, Trust Women skillfully interweaves political analysis, sociology, ancient and modern philosophy, Christian tradition, and medical history, and grounds its analysis in the material reality of women's lives and their decisions about sexuality, abortion, and child-bearing. It ends with a powerful re-imagining of the moral contours of pre-natal life and suggests we recognize pregnancy as a time when a woman must assent, again and again, to an ethical relationship with the prenate.


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In an age in which women's reproductive rights are increasingly under attack, a minister and ethicist offers a stirring argument that abortion can be a moral good Here's a fact that we often ignore: unplanned pregnancy and abortion are a normal part of women's reproductive lives. Roughly one-third of US women will have an abortion by age forty-five, and fifty to sixty perce In an age in which women's reproductive rights are increasingly under attack, a minister and ethicist offers a stirring argument that abortion can be a moral good Here's a fact that we often ignore: unplanned pregnancy and abortion are a normal part of women's reproductive lives. Roughly one-third of US women will have an abortion by age forty-five, and fifty to sixty percent of the women who have abortions were using birth control during the month they got pregnant. Yet women who have abortions are routinely shamed and judged, and safe and affordable access to abortion is under relentless assault, with the most devastating impact on poor women and women of color. Rebecca Todd Peters, a Presbyterian minister and social ethicist, argues that this shaming and judging reflects deep, often unspoken patriarchal and racist assumptions about women and women's sexual activity. These assumptions are at the heart of what she calls the justification framework, which governs our public debate about abortion, and disrupts our ability to have authentic public discussions about the health and well-being of women and their families. Abortion, then, isn't the social problem we should be focusing on. The problem is our inability to trust women to act as rational, capable, responsible moral agents who must weigh the concrete moral question of what to do when they are pregnant or when there are problems during a pregnancy. Ambitious in method and scope, Trust Women skillfully interweaves political analysis, sociology, ancient and modern philosophy, Christian tradition, and medical history, and grounds its analysis in the material reality of women's lives and their decisions about sexuality, abortion, and child-bearing. It ends with a powerful re-imagining of the moral contours of pre-natal life and suggests we recognize pregnancy as a time when a woman must assent, again and again, to an ethical relationship with the prenate.

30 review for Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Henk-Jan van der Klis

    For a lot of Christians, it seems that abortion was invented in the second half of the 20th Century. The pro-life activists really primed hearts and minds with the pictures of unborn children en pressure to take responsibility and perceive pregnancy as a logical consequence of sexual activity...frames within a marriage of course. Presbyterian minister and ethicist Rebecca Todd Peters busts that myth by digging into ancient times of Persian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman history to reveal the knowle For a lot of Christians, it seems that abortion was invented in the second half of the 20th Century. The pro-life activists really primed hearts and minds with the pictures of unborn children en pressure to take responsibility and perceive pregnancy as a logical consequence of sexual activity...frames within a marriage of course. Presbyterian minister and ethicist Rebecca Todd Peters busts that myth by digging into ancient times of Persian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman history to reveal the knowledge of abortion practices and contraceptives. Special attention is given to American history and the way women were stigmatized, paternalized, and abused. Statistics are brought in to clarify which small percentage of all abortions are triggered by rape or incest. Almost three-quarters of the women seeking an abortion in the United States do so for other than this or health issues of infant or mother. Though arguing that the Christian views on sexuality and abortion were the main driver, I'd precise it to a typically American cultural one, because I don't recognize this from a European point of view.  The author touches upon the question whether an unborn child - prenate as she likes to call them - has the same moral status as the mother. Where does life begin? Is ending a pregnancy killing or a normal part of women’s reproductive lives: roughly one-third of US women will have an abortion by age forty-five, and fifty to sixty percent of the women who have abortions were using birth control during the month that they got pregnant. Yet women who have abortions are shamed and judged for their actions, and safe access to abortion is under relentless assault. Abortion is not the problem. Trust women to act as capable, responsible moral agents is the mission Rebecca has.  Justification than becomes justice. Trust Women: A Moral Argument for Reproductive Justice addresses serious topics in a professional, provoking, well-thought manner. Hopefully, you don't jump to conclusions before reaching the book's end. 

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    An honest and unflinching look at our current contentious debate about abortion. Peters reframes the question from the "justification" of a decision to abort to an issue of "trust" of a woman to know her own situation and her own body. Clearly and soundly written with excellent talking points and notes, this book is recommended reading for all. An honest and unflinching look at our current contentious debate about abortion. Peters reframes the question from the "justification" of a decision to abort to an issue of "trust" of a woman to know her own situation and her own body. Clearly and soundly written with excellent talking points and notes, this book is recommended reading for all.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clinton Wilcox

    Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice by Rebecca Todd Peters is, unfortunately, another one of those dime-a-dozen pro-choice books that adds nothing of value to the conversation. Peters is a self-proclaimed feminist social ethicist, but her understanding of the abortion issue is shallow, at best, and she doesn't understand the arguments that pro-life people actually make. On top of that, she outright lies about the agenda of pro-life people. She talks a lot about Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice by Rebecca Todd Peters is, unfortunately, another one of those dime-a-dozen pro-choice books that adds nothing of value to the conversation. Peters is a self-proclaimed feminist social ethicist, but her understanding of the abortion issue is shallow, at best, and she doesn't understand the arguments that pro-life people actually make. On top of that, she outright lies about the agenda of pro-life people. She talks a lot about the role of women in the abortion issue and doesn't give any good reasons to believe the unborn should not be considered in the abortion issue. She uses the word "moral" a lot, but every time she does, the immortal words of Inigo Montoya just echo through my head: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." I also doubt she's ever actually read any books written by pro-life people. I have at least two points of evidence for this claim: 1) She actually claims that "[t]here is an unexamined pronatalist bias in this country." She can only make this statement if she's never read any books or articles by pro-life thinkers. She may disagree, but to claim that our bias is unexamined, or that it really even is a bias, is ignorance of the highest degree. 2) Not only does she consistently misrepresent pro-life arguments and lie about pro-life activists, whenever she quotes a pro-life activist it's either from a news source, such as New York Times, or a staunchly pro-abortion website like Mother Jones. She also consistently shows a lack of knowledge of the abortion debate, in general. This is not acceptable behavior for someone who wants to be known as an ethicist. I hate having to be so harsh. I was pretty blunt when I reviewed Willie Parker's book because it was so awful (and dishonest), and unfortunately Peters' book is just more of the same feminist complaints about misogyny and how pro-life people just want to control the bodies of women. It really does just get old because so many pro-choice advocates are willing to fight dirty in their advocacy for abortion. I am willing to recommend pro-choice books that make meaningful contributions to the abortion debate, as I did with Kate Greasley's recent book. This is a book that will go unrecommended from me as a good contribution to the abortion debate. Unfortunately, the book reads as if it was written by someone who is uneducated in logic, has never read Scripture, and has not read many books by people who aren't feminists. I'll just give three examples from chapter eight of the book, then I'll stop harping on her lack of qualifications as an ethicist and just respond to a couple of her arguments which are germane to her overall thesis. 1. On page 170 of her book, she claims that in today's society, sex is not just for procreative purposes. People just tend to want to have sex for pleasure rather than to create a child. This doesn't mean that many people aren't willing to accept pregnancy resulting from sex, but "it challenges the long-held Christian narrative that the purpose of sex is procreation." But this is completely false. She acts as if no one in Christian history has ever had sex simply because they enjoy it. But one read through Song of Solomon will show that to those who take Scripture seriously, sex is also something that is immensely enjoyable. In fact, the Apostle Paul told fellow believers it is better to marry than to burn with lust and have sex in a sinful way (1 Corinthians 7:9). Christians have long held that sex is enjoyable and there is nothing wrong with having sex because you enjoy it. But none of this lends any sort of evidence for Peters' claim that sex is not for reproduction. The final end of the sexual organs is reproduction -- that's why we call them reproductive organs and not recreational organs. Sex is enjoyable, but it is not the purpose of sex. Just as eating is enjoyable but the purpose of eating is to nourish the body, not simply for enjoyment. A couple can have sex because they enjoy it, but all sex they have must be open to creation of new life to be ethical. 2. On pages 170-171, she talks about cryogenically frozen embryos. Considering how many pro-life people in minority groups believe in adopting these embryos, she makes the following argument: "[C]oncern over the fate of these embryos pales in comparison to the outsized public interest in preventing pregnant woman from securing safe, legal abortions. This is further evidence that abortion politics are not about abortion, the status of prenatal life, or women's health, as much as they are about the social control of women." Her argument here doesn't even make any sense. Pro-life people, by definition, do not believe in "safe, legal abortions" because they kill innocent human beings. It's not very clear what she's arguing. Is she arguing that pro-life people care more about saving frozen embryos than in helping the women that can't abort because of pro-life laws? That, of course, would take some defense (which is not forthcoming), especially since there are numerous pro-life pregnancy care centers and churches who are able and willing to help. This is just a nonsensical argument. 3. Finally, on pages 174ff., she quotes a theologian named Kendra Hotz who describes parenthood as "a calling that not everyone is called to fulfill." She continues, "the choice for parenthood is bigger than what pleases me; it is also about God's reconciliation of all things." She argues that parenthood is a sacred trust, a covenant relationship entered into in which parents care for and nurture their children. Of course, this is a mistaken view about parenthood; or at least, very simplistic. No one can be forced into a covenant -- covenants are agreements made between two or more parties. While parents could certainly enter into a covenant (and they do when they get married), having children cannot be considered a covenant because no one has a choice to be conceived. No child has a choice to be part of this covenant relationship. In fact, it's this natural neediness and the fact that they didn't choose to be conceived which is part of what grounds the parents' obligation to care for their children. The idea that not everyone is called to be a parent is simply absurd. If God didn't call all people, in general, to be parents, he wouldn't have made sex the way to conceive children and then give all people a sex drive. We have a sex drive, and reproduction happens through sex, because God wants us to populate the world and wants us to have families. Families are good things. People are made for community, which is why Paul exhorts us not to forsake assembling together with other believers. Friends come and go, but families give us a community of people who will always be there for each other when we need it most. In fact, I don't find anywhere in Scripture that only certain people are called to be parents. What I do find in Scripture is that certain people are called to be single. In fact, because our sex drive is so strong, it takes a special gift and a special calling to remain single and celibate. It is not for everyone. Again, this idea that one must be specially called into parenthood is absurd. The main argument of Peters' book is to shift the discussion away from what she calls "the justification framework" (i.e. the idea that women have to give reasons to justify their abortions) toward a framework of reproductive justice. She writes, "[Reproductive Justice] has three primary principles: the right not to have a child, the right to have a child, and the right to parent in safe and healthy environments" (p. 7, emphases hers). Trying to shift the conversation away from the nature of the unborn isn't exactly a new tactic -- many pro-choice people do that in their conversations, and occasionally a pro-choice author will try to do that in one of her books (e.g. Eileen McDonagh trying to shift the conversation from one of choice to one of consent). In fact, Judith Thomson's famous essay with the violinist tried to shift the conversation away from the nature of the unborn. Peters' new tactic is to frame the conversation away from what the unborn are and more toward the lives of women. She believes that the complex lives of women is the foundation that we must start from in the conversation on abortion. Peters is very much pro-abortion, believing that any restrictions on abortion are immoral and oppressive. How does she justify her pro-choice stance? She believes that the "prenate" (her term for the human embryo/fetus) only crosses the threshold of life by the physical experience of birth, becoming part of the human community (p. 5). She then claims that beginning with the premise that women should continue their pregnancies misidentifies the act of "terminating a pregnancy" as the starting point for our ethical conversation. She writes, "It reduces the conversation to an abstract question of whether abortion is right or wrong, creating a binary framework woefully inadequate for the complexity of the moral questions surrounding abortion. Abortion, however, is never an abstract ethical question. It is, rather, a particular answer to a prior ethical question: 'What should I do when faced with an unplanned, unwanted, or medically compromised pregnancy?' This question can only be addressed within the life of a particular woman at a given moment in time" (p. 6). Thus, by attempting to reframe the discussion of abortion, she can completely dismiss the question of whether or not the unborn are human beings with a wave of the hand and resort to telling stories about the difficult situations women find themselves in and justifying their decision to abort based on their considerations regarding that difficult decision (of course, she ignores the fact that abortion is only a difficult decision because there is a human child at stake in the decision). Plus, she doesn't really give us any reason for believing that we should reframe the discussion in such a way. One could just as easily support infanticide or toddlercide by arguing that we should reframe the discussion away from one of are infants and toddlers human persons and toward one of the complex lives of parents. However, if the unborn are persons, as pro-life advocates argue, then we can't just take them out of the equation. No matter how complex a woman's life is, it doesn't justify murder of an innocent human being. So unless she can make a compelling case that the unborn are not persons, then we are free to reject her suggestion that we move the conversation in a different direction. What are her arguments that the unborn aren't persons? She has a small section in chapter five dedicated to that question. Needless to say, she does not engage with the argument of pro-life thinkers but primarily repeats talking points you hear from lay level pro-choice advocates: 1. Several times she declares that the belief that personhood is established at fertilization is a "theological belief". Of course this is plainly false (again lending credibility to my claim that she likely has never read any books or articles from pro-life thinkers). 2. While "prenates" are human, they are not fully developed. They don't have a heart in the same sense that we do, even though it beats, because the prenate body is still in development. This argument always strikes me as bizarre. Do pro-choice people not understand how development works? Do they not realize that even infants and toddlers are not fully developed? She claims that birth is when we become persons, but if she is going to deny personhood rights to the unborn on the grounds that they are not fully developed, she is being inconsistent by not denying infants or toddlers personhood rights. 3. Prenates cannot survive outside the womb before viability and are dependent on the woman's body. But of course, these things do not justify denying personhood rights to the unborn. After all, people in reversible comas cannot survive outside the hospital environment without their respirator. Diabetics cannot survive without insulin. Being dependent on someone or something else for your survival does not mean you have less rights. In fact, we often tend to think it grounds more of an obligation to help someone, if we can. Not less of an obligation. Those are the main arguments she gives, and needless to say they are not persuasive in the least. There are many problems with Peters' book, and I'd have to write a book myself to address all of them. One major issue is that she cites studies in support of many of her statements. The problem, though, is that almost always she quotes just one study that supports her position. However, one study is not evidence of your claim. The thing about studies is that they are easy to fudge the results of (and, in fact, it has been shown that many studies are unreliable because the sociologists were more interested in appeasing their donors than in getting to the truth -- and she even talks about one such study on p. 88, in which the sociologist was unaware of biases that tainted his studies). Results must be replicatable to be reliable, so pointing to one study does not support her position. And despite the fact she dismisses pro-life organizations as unreliable, she constantly relies on pro-abortion organizations, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who are also unreliable as organizations for the same reason (just reversed). In fact, I've written an article taking ACOG to task for being dishonest when asked a question about when human life begins. She also makes several dishonest claims about pro-life people. One of the most egregious is on p. 42, in which she references the Center for Medical Progress' videos showing Planned Parenthood selling fetal body parts for profit. She repeats the common claim that these videos were "heavily edited". Of course they were heavily edited. That's what you do when you want to shorten them for public consumption. What she probably means is that they were "deceptively edited", despite the fact that the full videos are available on-line for viewing It would take a book or several lengthy articles to pick out every error in reasoning or false claim made by Peters. But this should suffice to show that Peters' book, unfortunately, is not one that adds meaningfully to the discussion on abortion. Your time will be better spent reading something else.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kaitland

    I read this book on a long road trip out west and I was thrilled to walk away from it with a new understanding of my stance on reproductive rights. I can now say that I am not only pro-choice, but also pro-trust. I trust women to make the decisions that they see fit for their own bodies, their families, and their community. Whether the decision be financial, emotional, or physical, every woman has the inalienable right to decide what happens to her body and her family. I have always felt that fo I read this book on a long road trip out west and I was thrilled to walk away from it with a new understanding of my stance on reproductive rights. I can now say that I am not only pro-choice, but also pro-trust. I trust women to make the decisions that they see fit for their own bodies, their families, and their community. Whether the decision be financial, emotional, or physical, every woman has the inalienable right to decide what happens to her body and her family. I have always felt that folks who are pro-birth (because pro-life would mean caring for the child after it was born) had their hearts in the right place. They see a pregnant woman and they see potential and possibilities in an unborn life. That is beautiful. But a fetus does not grow in a vessel, or some lifeless object. It grows inside a woman. A woman who is living and breathing and has potential and so many possibilities in her life as well. Reproductive justice presents a more holistic approach to the issue of abortion. It does not disregard the fetus nor does it consider the baby more important than its mother. Instead, it tells us that we have no say in the matter at all. What matters is how that woman views the situation. And I love that.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kifflie

    Peters sets out to introduce a new ethic around abortion that abandons the old justification paradigm in favor of the idea of reproductive justice. I think she succeeds, admirably. Her statistics are a little startling; I had no idea that contraceptive failure rates were quite as high as they are, or that a third of all women will have had an abortion at some point in their reproductive lives. The refusal of so many Christian churches and leaders to see women as fully moral agents has been a rea Peters sets out to introduce a new ethic around abortion that abandons the old justification paradigm in favor of the idea of reproductive justice. I think she succeeds, admirably. Her statistics are a little startling; I had no idea that contraceptive failure rates were quite as high as they are, or that a third of all women will have had an abortion at some point in their reproductive lives. The refusal of so many Christian churches and leaders to see women as fully moral agents has been a real frustration to me over the years, and it is refreshing to see this acknowledged and fleshed out by a competent writer. I found this book enormously helpful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pug

    For such an interesting topic, this sure was a dry book. I didn't find her points compelling, and I didn't buy her arguments. And she certainly doesn't sound like a Christian, let alone a minister!?! Plus she was excessively wordy and redundant. For such an interesting topic, this sure was a dry book. I didn't find her points compelling, and I didn't buy her arguments. And she certainly doesn't sound like a Christian, let alone a minister!?! Plus she was excessively wordy and redundant.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I found Trust Women to be a difficult read-- the text was over-wordy, somewhat repetitive, and I couldn't seem to keep my attention from wandering. (Disclaimer: I ended up only reading about 70% of the book, skimming a lot of it.) Still, I think Peters presents some interesting, though ultimately not satisfyingly substantiated, ideas. This is much more of a feminist and philosophical theory book than a scientific or biblical one, which is more of what I expected going into it. From what I ascert I found Trust Women to be a difficult read-- the text was over-wordy, somewhat repetitive, and I couldn't seem to keep my attention from wandering. (Disclaimer: I ended up only reading about 70% of the book, skimming a lot of it.) Still, I think Peters presents some interesting, though ultimately not satisfyingly substantiated, ideas. This is much more of a feminist and philosophical theory book than a scientific or biblical one, which is more of what I expected going into it. From what I ascertained, Peters' main arguments are: 1.) "Pro-life" abortion theory and rhetoric are recent nineteenth-century ideas. 2.) Antiabortion legislature is more about controlling women's sexuality and reproduction, fueled by paternalistic mistrust, than it is about babies. 3.) If anyone actually cared about children and mothers, they'd improve social infrastructure like healthcare, housing, education, and childcare. 4.) The prenate (a word Peters coins here to refer to post-conception, pre-birth humans) occupies a unique and separate moral category than human beings do. The first three arguments are certainly not new and have been well-documented, and don't really need the rehash that Peters gives them here. The fourth argument is the most interesting by far, and could have used some more support in the text than it gets.Both the pregnant body and the prenate defy the strict logic of individualism and exist instead within a liminal space defined by the potential for creation of new life. But potential is not actuality. (153) I suggest that we not only adopt the term prenate to refer to the developing entity that exists before birth but also recognize prenate as a new moral category to be used instead of person when referring to developing life that occurs inside a woman's body. (161) Because prenates represent the potential for human life and personhood, the decision to end a pregnancy is not trivial. At the same time, any value that might be afforded to prenatal life is not equivalent to the value of existing life; a prenate does not possess the same value that a person holds after he or she is born. (165)This is quite the idea, but is presented as an entirely philosophical one, with no clear basis in science or law. Peters repeatedly makes the claim that "life" begins at birth, yet in no way backs this up with any support other than pure instinct.With its first intake of breath, the prenate crosses that threshold from nascent or potential life into the world of the living ... their separation from their mother's body marks the transition from prenatal life and potentiality to newborn life and personhood. (161-162)Considering that this is meant to be a "Progressive Christian Argument", I would certainly expect there to be some interpretation of biblical scripture to back up her argument of life-at-birth, but there was actually none at all. I was also somewhat put off by some Peters' language surrounding prenates, describing them as "developing" or "not-yet-" human.Birth remains the final threshold that marks the transformation from prenate to newborn. While viability is a significant step in gestational development, a viable prenate is not equivalent to an infant. [...]Perhaps it would help if we began to think about the prenate as a "human becoming" rather than a human being ... The word becoming recognizes the "not-yet-ness" that is the defining feature of the liminal state of the prenate in the process of coming into being. (159)I'm personally suspicious of attempts to declare any human as less-than-human for developmental reasons. What exactly is a fully developed human? If its about growth, I've heard it said that we stop growing around age 21-25, when our cells begin to decay at a faster rate than they regenerate. Are we in a state of "not-yet-ness" until that time, not fully a person? Certainly, in a legal sense, age 21 is when one becomes an adult. Is Peters claiming that, legally, a prenate does not yet have the same legal status that a born human does? It's not quite clear, since again, Peters argument is almost entirely philosophical rather than grounded in law. Nor in science-- at what point exactly does something "become" human? Prenates are certainly homo sapiens. If we start deciding who counts as fully human based on intelligence, cognizance, or physical/mental development, that spells danger for the portions of our populace with neuroatypical intelligence or developmental disorders. Peters also has a fifth argument: that choosing to abort, just as choosing to continue a pregnancy, can be a moral act. For example, if the pregnant person deems themselves unable to successfully care for and raise a child (perhaps due to financial, career, or current family situations), then an abortion can result in a net moral good. This is also an interesting idea, yet it still rests entirely on the assumption of Peters' fourth argument: that a prenate is in some way of less moral worth than an infant. After all, we wouldn't advocate for a parent choosing to terminate the life of a born child due to any of these reasons, why is it different for an unborn child? (Note: I'm not saying that Peters isn't right here, I'm just saying she hasn't provided sufficient evidence.) In the end, I was not fully won over by Peters. While she has plenty of great things to say regarding misogyny among antiabortion rhetoric and the need for better social infrastructure to support healthy life for all people, this is ground that has been tread before and in much more readable style. She could also use some more intersectional input from disabled activists and trans/nonbinary activists (the language in this book is very cis-sexist). Her ideas about the "prenate" as a moral state separate from "personhood" are interesting, but poorly developed or supported. Also, I think anything claiming to be a Christian argument ought to cite the Bible at least once. Overall, Trust Women is unfortunately entirely skippable.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chella

    What a brave book. Meticulously researched and deeply humane, this book is more revelatory than it is argumentative. Peters takes one of the most taboo issues of our time and extends grace and compassion to all. Regardless of your political, religious, philosophical, or sociological beliefs, and no matter how controversial the topic may be, this book is illuminating and empowering.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    My copy arrived today. Just reading the Chapter titles makes me want to drop what I am doing and dive into it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    CTEP

    A lot of news seems to bombard us on a daily basis. Even the pace of news is speeding up at an alarming rate thanks to the latest push notifications, apps, and other tech developments. One area of news that has had a constant roller coaster of good news and bad news (with more news on the bad side) in the past decade has been the issue of abortion access, birth control and reproductive justice. Abortion alone is such a loaded discussion that, in the past 45 years since Roe v Wade, there's volume A lot of news seems to bombard us on a daily basis. Even the pace of news is speeding up at an alarming rate thanks to the latest push notifications, apps, and other tech developments. One area of news that has had a constant roller coaster of good news and bad news (with more news on the bad side) in the past decade has been the issue of abortion access, birth control and reproductive justice. Abortion alone is such a loaded discussion that, in the past 45 years since Roe v Wade, there's volumes of books arguing on an either "Pro-life" or "Pro-choice" dichotomy. This dichotomy, says Rebecca Peters, a Presbyterian minister, fails to take into account the very nuanced decision to abort a pregnancy. In her new book, "Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice", she dispels many myths surrounding abortion, the war on access to birth control and how our male-centered, top-down view on women's health and decision making filter into our culture to this day. A lot of facts on abortion itself get lost in the shuffle of debates, or are just not widely known to people. Every year, 2.8 million women become pregnant who didn't want to and 50-60% of women who abort their pregnancies were using birth control at the time on conception. Failure rates for birth control increase over a period of 10 years when used correctly. After the 10 year mark, IUDs have a failure rate of 8%, the birth control pill at 61%, the female diaphragm at 72% and a condom at 86%. Women of color and those with less education have a higher rate of birth control failure compared to white women, Forty nine percent of women who abort their pregnancies live below the poverty level and another 26% live at 200% of the poverty level ($11,670 for one adult). Additionally, research has found that 57% of women who aborted their pregnancy experienced a potentially life-disruptive events in the year before. The median number of reasons women give for their decisions numbered four. Most women who choose to abort have more than one child already to look after and raise. Aside from the Herculean effort for poor women and women of color to seek abortion after accidentally pregnant, couples who wish to have children and decide to abort also face stigma in other ways. The most recent stats say that 91.6% of abortions occur in the first trimester, 8.32% in the second and only .08% occur in the third trimester. It's usually in the second and third trimesters when most health defects are seen through tests and ultrasounds. Families then have the hard decision to make if a baby can't live outside of the womb or is disabled in ways that parents cannot look after or don't have the resources to care for a child with disabilities. Though many people who are Pro-life advocate for children with disabilities to live, most don't realize the day-to-day complexities it takes for parents to raise such children. Along with such a shift in parenting, the United States isn't known for it's parental leave, stellar healthcare, special education for children with disabilities or affordable childcare. All of these factors make the decision to abort a heavy one. In the second part of her book, Peters then delves into a long, detailed history in how, together, theology, patriarchy and the late medical community have dictated how women see themselves, their bodily actions and free will to make their own choices regarding their health. Birth control and abortion have been around since the dawn of time, with archaeologists have uncovered recipes on preventing pregnancy from Ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Aristotle thought it best to abort a pregnancy versus practicing infanticide. The Ancient Romans in particular fostered an environment of both lax birth control until the 3rd and 4th centuries, when Christianity began to rise as a religion. Christianity was rooted in the view that women were naturally deceptive due to the story of Eve tempting Adam to eat the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. This reasoning meant that women who didn't wish to carry a child to term was deemed a moral failure and a sinner. Even though this was the official stance of the Church, women still held authority when it came to midwifery and childbirth through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and into the Enlightenment. Socially, it was somewhat permissible to control pregnancies when a married woman was concerned that her family was getting too large. Attitudes started to change among women who lived in the thirteen colonies. Talk of liberty and personal freedom from tyranny sparked a movement for equal freedoms for women and bodily autonomy. Most pregnancies weren't recognized until the "quickening" or when the baby was felt moving in the womb. Abortion before the quickening was seen as normal and a decision made primarily by the mother. A number of products advertised to address "married women's health" included some named Hooper's Female Pills, Hungary Water, Dr Ryan's Worm Destroying Sugar Plombs, Madame Restell's Female Monthly Pills, Madame Drunette's French Lunar Pills and Dr Peter's French Renovating Pills. When medicine had started professionalized in the mid 19th century, men in the medical field started to push women from midwifery and childbirth. Horatio Storer was one of the first physicians who argued that a pre-nate was an infant. Even though doctors at the mid 19th century didn't understand where life "began" for a pre-nate, they were quick to discredit the "quickening" as the start. Women weren't only seen as moral failures but now, according to some doctors and medical staff, too stupid to know what to do with their own bodies. This dismissive attitude towards women also included the practice of sterilizing women after their first abortion. By the end of World War II, 53% of medical schools and 40% of US hospitals required forced sterilization after an abortion. Along with forced sterilization, most women and girls who became accidentally pregnant were sent away when they started to show. For them, sex had one, judgemental consequence: giving their baby up for adoption to a nameless couple "worthy" and "better able" to raise a child. Abortion was only an option for the wealthy who knew a doctor or could travel to another country to get a safe procedure. Some laws in the 1960s were passed to allow abortions in the situation where the life of the mother was being threatened. In 1965, an issue of Life magazine featured what seemed to be a pre-nate floating in the womb. When the Lennart Nilsson re-shot the spread in the early 1990s, he admitted to using stillborn fetuses submerged in salt water, with limbs attached to make the pre-nate look more like an infant. With the article likening the pre-nate to an astronaut drifting along in space, the language used made the pregnancy seem like the pre-nate was a noble explorer fighting for life in a hostile environment: its mother. Such language was used to erase the humanity of the woman carrying a pre-nate. In 1967, 42% of all maternal deaths were the result of illegal abortions. Of these death, half of the women were black, 44% were Puerto Rican, and only 6% were white. Roe v Wade was handed down from the Supreme Court in 1973 which dictated that abortion was a medical choice to be made between a woman and her doctor alone. In the 45 years since the decision, religious groups have pushed the narrative that a pre-nate forming is equivalent to a newborn. Most of their imagery at protests and online feature photos like those in the Life magazine spread or more developed, third trimester pre-nates, with more accurate depictions of human development omitted. Peters stresses that arguments around such decisions still need addressing. She cites the Turnaway study which says that 76% of women who were turned away for abortion services were women living at or below the poverty level, whereas 44% of women who underwent abortion were. Additionally, 86% of all these women were already living with their young children/babies. Given the cycle of poverty and lack of support, women of color banded together to address these issues on their own terms. In 1994, the term Reproductive Justice was coined so that all women could gain access to overall healthcare, including holistic reproductive services, in the Clinton administration. Today, the effects of poverty is even greater: 44% of children under age 18 live in poor and low-income families, 66% of black, Hispanic and American Indian children live at or near poverty. 1.5 million children live in families are homeless, 42% are children under the age of six. It's in this chaotic environment that most minority women face a deluge of hard decisions as to have another child. It's not surprising that most who want to abort their pregnancy face great obstacles and regulations meant to punish them for taking a small chance at being responsible for their decisions. As long as we keep the argument vaguely Pro-life vs Pro-choice, we ignore all the factors that women face in making the complicated decision in aborting their pregnancy for now and improving their lives for their future families. Now, this book review isn't meant to shove a certain view on anyone. I was just thrilled to learn that someone of faith was willing to talk about women and their reproductive choices and open up a moral discussion based on a more compassionate theology. Looking back on my self as a teen, I didn't really have much agency to proudly say no in being coerced into a Pro-life paradigm, even so much as to protest on the Pro-life side a few times. But as I left for college and started to see life in a new way, I'm thankful for places like Planned Parenthood for being around during my 20s, on educating me on how my body works and even implanting my IUD 5 years ago. All the small and stabbing pieces of news regarding women's restrictions to such medical care make me angry to say the least. Major legislation, such as the recent bill passed in Iowa, still reflect outdated ideas as to how we view women and what we think their purpose is for their lives. I think we owe it to ourselves to uncover the truths behind complicated pregnancies, risks involved in carrying a pregnancy to term and the big way in which lives are changed in raising a child. I think we have a long way to go in laying a foundation of good healthcare, education and support for women for all families, especially those who don't fit into the nuclear family mold. Thinking about family planning in this way refreshes the conversation to a paradigm of compassion and understanding instead of a verbal war between two sides.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura Engelhardt

    I'm recommending the book if you are in the camp, "I'm pro-choice, but I/my partner would never personally have an abortion." You will be challenged to assess your reasons for that position. Positives: I like books that challenge me. If you are pro-life, I think you can read this to get a better understanding of the folks who disagree, because it isn't so strident that you will feel attacked. You will probably disagree with it though and I don't think it is written to persuade you. I think this w I'm recommending the book if you are in the camp, "I'm pro-choice, but I/my partner would never personally have an abortion." You will be challenged to assess your reasons for that position. Positives: I like books that challenge me. If you are pro-life, I think you can read this to get a better understanding of the folks who disagree, because it isn't so strident that you will feel attacked. You will probably disagree with it though and I don't think it is written to persuade you. I think this was written for people who are pro-choice, but are in the "safe, legal and rare" camp. It made me recognize and wrestle with some of my own biases and assumptions. The book included facts that I was looking to find out -- like was it true that many women who have abortions are women who are already mothers and has abortion always been seen by the church as immoral? The anecdotes regarding how women who have abortions think about them, and why abortions happen later rather than earlier in pregnancy were useful. It was helpful to wrestle with the much-held view that abortion is shameful. I liked her analysis of biblical views regarding women and children and how she discussed illogic of pregnancy and motherhood as punishment. I found her views on thinking of the true moral question of "should I become a mother" as critical and something I hadn't spent much time considering -- I came at my pro-choice position more from my belief in the wrongness of state coercion and assault. Negatives: (1) the author surveyed a very small sample set of women for her anecdotes, (2) I found the scriptural analysis and faith-based component a bit light -- it wasn't as helpful to me in understanding how to think about this moral question for myself grounded in a Christian view, (3) the discussion of Paul's views on women in 1 Corinthians didn't mention that many scholars think the statements about women in verses 33 through 36 were likely added in later centuries and not actually written by Paul.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Fitzpatrick

    With a title like this, I had though that the arguments for reproductive justice would be grounded in biblical history and modern theology. A more accurate title would be "A Progressive Christian's Argument for Reproductive Justice." The arguments in this book are grounded in logic and carefully documented statistics, not theology. The author's main stance is that abortion should be everyone's right, even rich women with a reliable partner who could support a baby if they wanted to. The point is With a title like this, I had though that the arguments for reproductive justice would be grounded in biblical history and modern theology. A more accurate title would be "A Progressive Christian's Argument for Reproductive Justice." The arguments in this book are grounded in logic and carefully documented statistics, not theology. The author's main stance is that abortion should be everyone's right, even rich women with a reliable partner who could support a baby if they wanted to. The point is that they don't want to in week 25, even if maybe they did in week 10. Anti-abortion legislation denies the autonomy of women in order to prioritize (on the basis of hypothetical conjecture or complete fallacies) when a fetus can feel pain or has personhood. Another flaw in this book, besides the inaccurate title, is that the author's passion for the subject matter causes her to write in a non-objective style. Some of her interpretations are a bit of a stretch. In the chapter "Abortion in Real Life," she claims that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act equates pregnant women with "uncaring and ignominious monsters," and in "Abortion Policy as the Public Abuse of Women" she argues that vaginal ultrasounds are the equivalent of "corporal punishment" on pregnant women. I wouldn't say that she's wrong, but phrasing her arguments like this means that her book is going to reinforce existing opinions rather than change minds. I don't think that many churches will be adding this one to its book club meetings.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    What a coherent and compassionate piece of writing. It’s unusual to find a writer who critiques the reproductive policies of religious organizations, but does so from within the religious community. It’s very well researched, and the arguments are compelling, often showing perspectives that hadn’t occurred to me — which is particularly surprising with such a heavily traveled topic. I am impressed ( which is not to say that I wouldn’t have a few questions for Rebecca Todd Peters if we were in a f What a coherent and compassionate piece of writing. It’s unusual to find a writer who critiques the reproductive policies of religious organizations, but does so from within the religious community. It’s very well researched, and the arguments are compelling, often showing perspectives that hadn’t occurred to me — which is particularly surprising with such a heavily traveled topic. I am impressed ( which is not to say that I wouldn’t have a few questions for Rebecca Todd Peters if we were in a face to face conversation).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Freeze

    Toddie does an amazing job or reframing the language we use to discuss abortion. She frames the conversation as a moral good and emphasizing that trusting women is the best way to start a reproductive justice conversation. Bravo!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    It is a gift to hear a passionate and progressive reasoned argument for reproductive justice from the lens of a faith leader!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    May be writing an article about all the lies in this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I may need to read this book a second time to really grasp it – I have a lot of feelings about this issue myself, in many different directions, and so this very rational, academic book often felt cold to me. Still I value it and the huge amount of research and thought that Peters clearly put into it. She offers a rational take on an emotional issue. I guess I sometimes long for a book with a take on abortion that is both emotional and nuanced, rather than cut and dry in either direction; I reali I may need to read this book a second time to really grasp it – I have a lot of feelings about this issue myself, in many different directions, and so this very rational, academic book often felt cold to me. Still I value it and the huge amount of research and thought that Peters clearly put into it. She offers a rational take on an emotional issue. I guess I sometimes long for a book with a take on abortion that is both emotional and nuanced, rather than cut and dry in either direction; I realize this may be impossible. Peters articulates many things that I have thought but not said -- and does so clearly and deliberately. She writes about the liminal state of being of a fetus -- but offers the word "prenate" as preferred term, for reasons she explains. She places the ethics of abortion in the hands of mothers (and fathers), saying they are the experts on the morality of terminating or not terminating a pregnancy, at any stage, in their particular situation and context, with their doctors. She traces Judeo-Christian theology and history, noting its longstanding, poor treatment of women, in the Bible and much of religious history, and the fact that women have had little value apart from husbands and children for generations untold. What is life? When does it begin? Is a fetus an individual who has landed inside its mother like a foreign module, completely separate? Or is it something more fluid – as Adrienne Rich wrote, quoted by Peters, “The child that I carry for nine months can be defined neither as me or as not-me” (160). Does this change over the course of gestation? This is not a simple book to read, in so many ways, but it’s not just for academics: it’s accessible, if sometimes dense and formal. Still, I long for a book that can bridge the grey areas of abortion that so many Americans feel, myself included – maybe a book of testimonials and personal stories, in the end, is what would better capture how this issue feels in our country right now, rather than something reasonable and academic.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dwight Davis

    I really like this book. I wish someone had given it to me when I was in undergrad and trying to think through these issues on a massively Republican college campus. I was the only pro-choice person in my Christian studies department at the time and I often felt like I didn’t have the conceptual tools to argue my position well. Peters here gives us conceptual tools, hard data, personal stories, and pastoral council for understanding issues around reproductive justice. I think she does an excelle I really like this book. I wish someone had given it to me when I was in undergrad and trying to think through these issues on a massively Republican college campus. I was the only pro-choice person in my Christian studies department at the time and I often felt like I didn’t have the conceptual tools to argue my position well. Peters here gives us conceptual tools, hard data, personal stories, and pastoral council for understanding issues around reproductive justice. I think she does an excellent job of framing the “pro-life” movement as fundamentally about misogynist and patriarchal social control, and her recasting of sexual ethics beyond pregnancy and marriage is excellent. She argues coherently using both theory and the Bible which is something a lot of progressive Christians avoid. I really appreciate her critical engagement with scripture, and her compassionate tone and concern for how women who get abortions are made to feel shame. I have two criticisms, one of substance and one stylistic. Stylistic first: this needed a better editor. It’s repetitive. There are a lot of paragraphs with three sentences in a row that say literally the same thing. But that’s par for the course for Christian publishing. The second, more substantive critique is that I really don’t think her engagement with disability could stand up to a serious and rigorous critique from disability theorists. There’s a decent attempt to address concerns along these lines, but it ends up feeling more like a hand wave gesture to acknowledge she’s aware that she’s open to these criticisms but doesn’t actually have a defensible position on disability and aborting prenates with Down’s Syndrome. It all feels very ableist to me, but that’s ultimately such a small portion of the book that I think it doesn’t suffer too much.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Compelling and well-thought out, I really enjoyed reading Peters' arguments for reproductive justice. My favorite chapters were probably those which discussed a history of birth control/abortion and then how abortion came to be stigmatized in the United States, and additionally a short history of misogyny in the church. All of those provided a different lens for how we got to be where we are now, and it set up the different tensions in play today. Ultimately, I liked that Peters veered away from Compelling and well-thought out, I really enjoyed reading Peters' arguments for reproductive justice. My favorite chapters were probably those which discussed a history of birth control/abortion and then how abortion came to be stigmatized in the United States, and additionally a short history of misogyny in the church. All of those provided a different lens for how we got to be where we are now, and it set up the different tensions in play today. Ultimately, I liked that Peters veered away from an antagonistic view of abortion. She describes that the labels pro-choice or pro-life either villainize prenates for threatening women or women for threatening their children. By reimagining pregnancy as a growing moral obligation to a developing prenate, there is room to support women's discernment over their own lives while also giving prenates a moral worth. Sometimes the text felt a little repetitive, and I was never really satisfied by the way she handled disability and abortion—even if Peters ultimately says "the right things," I would have felt more convinced if she had called upon the writings of disability activists, as she did for activists of other marginalized communities. As it is, there is the clear recognition that in our society today, people are less free to choose to have a disabled child, both because of economic reasons and personal prejudices, but it never felt as though disability were something to embrace according to her ethic. All in all, a thought-provoking and meaningful read that celebrates women, motherhood, and the children they choose to have.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Abdo

    This is something Christian's should probably read. Maybe it won't change their minds, but it should give then things to think about. The greater point of the book is that abortion isn't really the issue. The author asks you to consider that as merely one possible solution to greater issues like poverty and access to birth control and health care. The discussion of where misogyny in the church came from was interesting. She says it came from Roman and Greek culture and that marriage wasn't accep This is something Christian's should probably read. Maybe it won't change their minds, but it should give then things to think about. The greater point of the book is that abortion isn't really the issue. The author asks you to consider that as merely one possible solution to greater issues like poverty and access to birth control and health care. The discussion of where misogyny in the church came from was interesting. She says it came from Roman and Greek culture and that marriage wasn't acceptable in the church till it became evident christ wasn't coming soon. Women's bodies were their own until a push by the AMA to criminalize abortion for mostly capitalist reasons. And how was it done? Portray women as ignorant and irrational and that still persists today. When people demand waiting periods, they ignore the fact that women consider their situations carefully. Abortions as convenience is used to say women are selfish for pursuing education or considering care and expense of existing children. It's not about abortion.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The target audience of this book is people who are already pro-choice. The point of the book is to convince these people to embrace a "reproductive justice" framework (basically saying that women should also have the right to choose TO have children as well as the right to not have children). I am conflicted prolife, not really pro-choice, so the book did not address any of my concerns, or engage with any arguments against abortion in a substantial way. The book also does not make any arguments The target audience of this book is people who are already pro-choice. The point of the book is to convince these people to embrace a "reproductive justice" framework (basically saying that women should also have the right to choose TO have children as well as the right to not have children). I am conflicted prolife, not really pro-choice, so the book did not address any of my concerns, or engage with any arguments against abortion in a substantial way. The book also does not make any arguments from the Bible, or Christian theology; so it is not really a "Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice". However, the book is written in a clear, understandable style. It is very well-researched, and I especially like the chapter on abortion through history. The author interviewed several dozen women about their experiences with abortion, and describes her own experience. I respect that level of vulnerability, especially about such a charged topic. In conclusion, I think this is a pretty good book with a misleading title, that is not really "for me".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Booth

    I really enjoyed this book and was chalked full of good information, and new ways to look at and consider things. For years I struggled with the pro-choice vs pro-life argument. Often times feeling like I was in the middle. The educated side of me said pro-choice. Let the women deiced what is best for them and their situation. The spirituality side of me said pro-life, God wants to see no one perish. I think Ms. Peters does a good job of addressing both aspects of this argument. I agree with her I really enjoyed this book and was chalked full of good information, and new ways to look at and consider things. For years I struggled with the pro-choice vs pro-life argument. Often times feeling like I was in the middle. The educated side of me said pro-choice. Let the women deiced what is best for them and their situation. The spirituality side of me said pro-life, God wants to see no one perish. I think Ms. Peters does a good job of addressing both aspects of this argument. I agree with her 100% that we can't look at abortion, sex, parenting, until all people of all race, class, economic-status, have equal, access to what they need. Lot of good stuff in this book and ultimate we need to make resources more available to women and parents in need and change the way we educated our children on sex and marriage. Only then will we be able to have a fair argument on these issue and get some results.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Would recommend anyone read this book. Peters does an excellent job of presenting facts and stories surrounding the modern abortion debate in America and arguing for a more comprehensive framework of reproductive justice instead of the conventional justification framework. She challenges cultural norms and challenged me personally to reconsider some of my own beliefs, morals, and ethics based on the culture and socioeconomic climate I grew up in. There were so many times this book had me saying Would recommend anyone read this book. Peters does an excellent job of presenting facts and stories surrounding the modern abortion debate in America and arguing for a more comprehensive framework of reproductive justice instead of the conventional justification framework. She challenges cultural norms and challenged me personally to reconsider some of my own beliefs, morals, and ethics based on the culture and socioeconomic climate I grew up in. There were so many times this book had me saying "amen" and "preach it" while also forcing me to pause and really think about what I think about women's reproductive rights and the morality of fertility control. I really cannot recommend this book highly enough, and prepare yourself to be [hopefully] both challenged and empowered.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lindi

    Fascinating discussion on abortion. Peters argues that we must shift the conversation away from the morality of abortion and toward the morality of women's agency. Are women rational adults, whom we can trust to make decisions for ourselves based on our specific needs and desires, or not? Any thinking person would agree that we are, and yet the remnants of our patriarchal heritage continue to dictate how we justify (or not) abortion. There were so many jaw-dropping moments, and I know I'm not do Fascinating discussion on abortion. Peters argues that we must shift the conversation away from the morality of abortion and toward the morality of women's agency. Are women rational adults, whom we can trust to make decisions for ourselves based on our specific needs and desires, or not? Any thinking person would agree that we are, and yet the remnants of our patriarchal heritage continue to dictate how we justify (or not) abortion. There were so many jaw-dropping moments, and I know I'm not doing the book justice; it's such a departure from the normal pro-choice position of abortion as a necessary evil that I'm still wrapping my mind around her thesis.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    Ok so I didn’t get too far into this book. I admire what this author is trying to do—i.e. maintain and argue for her own perspective in the larger context of a religion that doesn’t recognize it (for the most part) as a valid one. However, this book did very little actual arguing. It listed facts and then stated her opinion about what those meant. (Or sometimes just listed facts tbh) Also, she spent a lot of time calling herself a social ethicist without really explaining what that is or giving Ok so I didn’t get too far into this book. I admire what this author is trying to do—i.e. maintain and argue for her own perspective in the larger context of a religion that doesn’t recognize it (for the most part) as a valid one. However, this book did very little actual arguing. It listed facts and then stated her opinion about what those meant. (Or sometimes just listed facts tbh) Also, she spent a lot of time calling herself a social ethicist without really explaining what that is or giving evidence for (even) that claim? Tl;dr: I was bummed that this book was such a disappointment. Was very excited to engage with this perspective and found little to actually engage with.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Peters makes a compelling case for reframing abortion as a moral decision that a woman takes on the basis of considerations of family, other children, and other relationships. I think this makes complete sense. At the same time, the prenate (her terminology) is a life, and ending that life is a hard thing even when a woman determines that it is the right decision, the moral decision, for her and her loved ones. In chapter after chapter, Peters argued her points with clarity and wisdom. I wanted Peters makes a compelling case for reframing abortion as a moral decision that a woman takes on the basis of considerations of family, other children, and other relationships. I think this makes complete sense. At the same time, the prenate (her terminology) is a life, and ending that life is a hard thing even when a woman determines that it is the right decision, the moral decision, for her and her loved ones. In chapter after chapter, Peters argued her points with clarity and wisdom. I wanted to highlight everything. She was absolutely right about it all. Still, it's a hard thing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Hughes

    This book covers the important issue of reproductive health care from a number of different angles -- historical, political, religious, social, and even personal -- making it a powerful read. "Trust Women" provides solid evidence on how abortion has become such a divisive issue in our country and, in doing so, offers language that supporters of reproductive health care can consider using when discussing this subject with friends, family members, and elected officials. This book covers the important issue of reproductive health care from a number of different angles -- historical, political, religious, social, and even personal -- making it a powerful read. "Trust Women" provides solid evidence on how abortion has become such a divisive issue in our country and, in doing so, offers language that supporters of reproductive health care can consider using when discussing this subject with friends, family members, and elected officials.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leonard

    In this compassionate and thoughtful work the author makes a strong argument for allowing women to have the say when it comes to reproduction, and points out the ways in which the current opposition to female control of their bodies is simply the latest in a long line of misogynist behavior toward women.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    This is an academic argument for reproductive justice. For a less academic and more narrative take I recommend Dr. Parker's book Life's Work. I thoroughly appreciated the seriousness with which Dr. Peters discusses the aspects of morality as it relates to reproductive justice and I wish more people would fully examine these issues. This is an academic argument for reproductive justice. For a less academic and more narrative take I recommend Dr. Parker's book Life's Work. I thoroughly appreciated the seriousness with which Dr. Peters discusses the aspects of morality as it relates to reproductive justice and I wish more people would fully examine these issues.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Misty

    I didn’t find anything in this to be particularly groundbreaking, but as an atheist who has fully walked away from their former faith, I expected as much. That said, however, I am still rating this positively so that perhaps people still deep in Christianity will consider reading this, because it could change everything for t h e m.

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