Seven Stories Press 2013



Long-listed for the 2014 Ridenhour Book Prize

Ms. Magazine Great Read for Winter 2013

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Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement

Author: Sarah Erdreich

It is about time, forty years after Roe v. Wade, to finally demystify abortion. One-third of all American women will have an abortion by the time they are 45, and most of those women are already mothers. Yet, the topic remains taboo. Even amidst MTV's 16 & Pregnant, depictions of or even discussion about abortion remains almost nonexistent. In this provocative book, Sarah Erdreich gives us a new way of thinking about abortion–one based in the reality of women's lives. 

Generation Roe delves into phenomena such as "abortion-recovery counseling," "crisis pregnancy centers," and the infamous anti-choice "black children are an endangered species" billboards; tells the stories of those who face threats on their lives to pursue careers in this stigmatized field; outlines the outrageous legislative battle grounds that have popped up all over the country; and takes to task pro-choice activists for allowing the very words used in the debate to be controlled by anti-choice rhetoric (such as the term "pro-life"). Inextricably tangled in autonomy, privacy, and sexuality, the abortion issue remains home base for the culture wars in America.
Yet, there is more common ground than meets the eye, when so many Americans, in all honesty, have made that choice, and many more want to have that choice. Erdreich holds the antidote to the usual debates, and redirects the dialogue to face reality, speak honestly, and hold abortion up, unabashedly, as a moral and fundamental human right.
Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement

Gloria Steinem:

Before and after Roe v. Wade, a third of all American women have needed an abortion at some time in their lives, yet instead of a subject of health care, this has become subject of secrecy. To break the spell, read Generation Roe by Sarah Erdreich. She replaces lies with honesty and myth with reality.


Publishers Weekly: 

In her first book, journalist and women's health advocate Erdreich delivers a passionate study of the past, current, and future state of the pro-choice movement in America. This is a thoughtful and comprehensive treatment of one side of an emotionally charged topic.


Kirkus Reviews: 

In her first book, pro-abortion rights activist Erdreich tries to bring some clarity and reason to the arguments around a woman’s right to choose in light of recent attempts to restrict that right.

A new generation of women takes Roe v. Wade for granted, but the author sees this cavalier attitude engendering a dangerous apathy and shortsightedness in terms of checking the encroachments on that landmark law that have been gradually gaining since the Hyde Amendment of 1976 (prohibiting federal funding for abortion). In several sagaciously researched essays, Erdreich presents some of the voices of women who choose abortion and why. She examines the nuances that we need to hear, even if the reasons cause others to examine their own beliefs and biases; the lack of training in abortion by medical students and others in the medical profession, even though abortion has become one of the most common surgical procedures in America; the misrepresentation in film and media about women who choose abortion; and a litany of creeping restrictions on the law across the country. Since President Barack Obama's election of 2008, harassment of and violence against abortion providers and clinics have risen, exemplified most tragically by the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita doctor shot by protestors in May 2009. Despite the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances law of 1994, clinics and providers are continually threatened, scaring potential providers away and closing doors to needy women. Erdreich points to the enormous headway the LGBTQ rights movement has made in comparison to the taboos still surrounding women’s basic right to choice.

An honest probing of law, public perception and conscience in the abortion debate.



Finally: A smart book about abortion that doesn’t hew to a party line.

Sarah Erdreich’s Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement, is an incisive and comprehensive overview of the current state of the reproductive rights movement. Informed with a series of detailed and lush interviews along with extensive research, the text zeros in on a number of key issues like generational divides in reproductive rights organizing and the narrowing options for medical professionals looking for abortion training in the United States.

Right from the start, Generation Roe presents challenges to traditional narratives about abortion. This is a novel move; typically, books about abortion focus on narrow, party-line politics. Yet, as Erdreich points out, the politically driven focus leaves out women who don’t experience abortion in the “acceptable” way; in other words, those who don’t arrive at the choice easily, and those who experience regret rather than relief after their abortions.

The book maintains a deft, critical tone that’s a refreshing break from most writing about abortions. Erdreich honestly and sharply evaluates the state of the movement and looks at what is and is not working for reproductive rights activists. 

Generation Roe challenges readers to ask themselves what kind of pro-choice movement they want to have and build, and what kind of world they want to live in. It’s a fantastic overview of the issues facing the movement today, and the people on the front lines of the culture war over reproductive rights. A must-have for readers interested in reproductive rights subjects, particularly those who wish to expand the scope and nature of the debate to make it more inclusive of the larger picture.


Katha Pollitt:

Sarah Erdreich zeroes in on the central paradox of abortion in America: one in three women will have at least one abortion by menopause, but the anti-choice movement is scoring victory after victory. Stigma and shame--and, let's not forget, fear of anti-choice violence -- keep too many women from speaking out even as their rights are whittled away. Can the young activists of Generation Roe revitalize the pro-choice movement? If you want to know what they're thinking, this book is a great place to begin.


Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Manifesta and Abortion & Life:

Each generation experiences the battles for reproductive choice uniquely. Sarah Erdreich digs into our current terrain -- one of crisis pregnancy centers, the lulling effect of Roe, and the introduction of a new cadre of young activists online -- to illustrate the morality and urgency that animate the right to abortion.


FDL Book Salon:

Sarah Erdreich's Generation Roe is a crisp, well-written, thorough exploration of abortion through the reality of women's lives. Erdreich dives into everything from "abortion-recovery counseling" and "crisis pregnancy centers," to the infamous race baiting anti-choice "black children are an endangered species" billboards. Generation Roe tells the stories of people who work in the field of reproductive health despite threats of violence and Erdreich explores how the stigma placed on abortion fuels those threats. In Generation Roe, Sarah Erdreich also outlines the legislative battlefields across the country and delves into mistakes and missteps pro-choice activists have made along the way.

It often feels like a never-ending series of defeats, but Erdreich points to the common ground that exists and how we can use it for social change. Generation Roe is not a book that chronicles a slow painful loss. Erdreich encourages us to face reality to speak honestly and without shame about abortion. In doing so, she makes Generation Roe a call to action that demands we uphold the human right to abortion and fight like hell to protect it.


RH Reality Check:

Generation Roe provides a savvy overview of how abortion came to be so inaccessible, marginalized, and stigmatized while disproving the tired media trope that "young women don’t care about abortion."


Amelia Bloomer Project:

A well-researched and readable treatment of the personal, political, cultural, and medical aspects of abortion and the pro-choice movement.


What Is That Book About:

I personally am pro life and will admit before I read this book, I had strong ideals about why abortion is wrong. After reading this book, it open some a new perspective lifts the veil of taboo. In the parameters of the context of the book, I thought Mrs. Erdreich did an amazing job with presenting a comprehensible perspective for such a sensitive topic in a well written, articulate and informative matter. This is the book that I believe with be one that bridges the gap between people who are for/or against to start a conversation. As a reader, you are left with many moments of introspective reflections of who makes this decision and why.

If you choose to read this book, which I think you should, it will be an engaging and informative read. It not only opens your mind but gives some great resources to information that is available for those who are interested. It's a book that if you are open minded, can really be something that can bring women together from both sides to truly encompass the plight of what the women's right movement was meant for the rights of all women inclusively and to support each other regardless of which side you feel.


Abortion Access Network of Arizona:

Erdreich’s book is a must read for pro-choice activists.


Shameless Magazine:

Generation Roe explores the political and societal implications of access to abortion and what that means for a generation of women and providers who have come of age post-Roe vs. Wade. Interestingly, Erdreich demonstrates how the continual stigmatization of being pro-choice has actually made access to abortion an increasing problem.