By Faye D. Ginsburg
In keeping with the fight over a Fargo, North Dakota, abortion sanatorium, Contested Lives explores one of many imperative social conflicts of our time. either wide-ranging and wealthy intimately, it speaks no longer just to the abortion factor but additionally to the serious position of women’s political activism.
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Additional resources for Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community
Self-Definition through Social Action Female social reformers, including those in the contemporary aboreconomic tion battle, are not just acting out cultural constructs or They are conscious them as they struggle imperatives of which they have no awareness. of the terms of the oppositions that constrain to transcend constraint, using political activism to challenge in dif- ways the control of the domestic domain to which they have been assigned. It is my argument that in so doing, women act conferent tinually to adjust the boundaries of those spheres to fit the shape of Introduction new 13 experiences in their lives that seem at odds with the available interpretations of gender.
The show they produced, and community response to it, illustrates the way the conflict is systematically distorted in the national media and the impact such interventions can have on the course of local events. The knowledge each side has of the other is a prominent feature in the life stories I collected with activists. In them, a particular understanding of both self and other is enacted through abortion the focus of chapters 8, 9, and 10. Chapter 8 lays out the theoretical bases for interpreting activists' narratives.
They are tied to two central images of abortion: the destruction of the fetus and the violation of the boundary of the impregnated womb by male figures representing the profit motive. " In right-to-life discourse, these three themes are used to claim Introduction io the same ground as other social groups in America, both contempo- For example, while stereotypes cast right-tolife advocates as unswervingly hostile to feminism, much of their rhetoric seeks to engage concerns raised by the women's movement 10 In the book A Private Choice by to justify pro-life arguments.
Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community by Faye D. Ginsburg