|About the Book|
Laura: My whole body was twitching. I remember thinking, At nineteen, this linoleum is the last thing Im ever going to see, because Im dying. Marilyn: Let me tell you about my pretty, wonderful, talented mother. She died from an illegal abortionMoreLaura: My whole body was twitching. I remember thinking, At nineteen, this linoleum is the last thing Im ever going to see, because Im dying. Marilyn: Let me tell you about my pretty, wonderful, talented mother. She died from an illegal abortion when she was thirty-four and I was six. Bruce: I really dont remember much about the first illegal abortion I did, because I was drunk when I did it. Coroner Fred: The dead women we saw had either bled to death or they had died from overwhelming infections. Most of them were in their teens or twenties. I dont recall too many older than that. The deaths stopped overnight in 1973. All the oceans of verbiage and tons of newsprint on the subject of abortion boil down to one simple question. That question is not whether we will have abortions but what kind of abortions we will have. It is a question framed in stark human terms in Patricia Millers The Worst of Times, which introduces us to dozens of ordinary Americans who have had firsthand experience with illegal abortion: women who survived the pain, humiliation, shame, and terror- motherless children of women who died- doctors who treated the terrible consequences of botched abortions- the abortionists themselves - barbers, midwives, mechanics- and the cops, coroners, and DAs charged with upholding the law. Abortion is a complex issue, but it is not an issue that exists abstractly in the eyes of ethicists or theologians. It is an issue that exists in the flesh - in the flesh of women with complicated lives and large responsibilities and a whole web of personal, familial, and moral concerns. As The Worst of Times makes powerfully and painfully clear, it is a question that women must be allowed to answer for themselves.