Without Apology
420 pages, 6 x 9
12 colour photographs
Release Date:30 Sep 2016

Without Apology

Writings on Abortion in Canada

Athabasca University Press

Until the late 1960s, the authorities on abortion were for the most part men—politicians, clergy, lawyers, physicians, all of whom had an interest in regulating women’s bodies. Even today, when we hear women speak publicly about abortion, the voices are usually those of the leaders of women’s and abortion rights organizations, women who hold political office, and, on occasion, female physicians. We also hear quite frequently from spokeswomen for anti-abortion groups. Rarely, however, do we hear the voices of ordinary women—women whose lives have been in some way touched by abortion. Their thoughts typically owe more to human circumstance than to ideology, and without them, we run the risk of thinking and talking about the issue of abortion only in the abstract.

Without Apology seeks to address this issue by gathering the voices of activists, feminists, and scholars as well as abortion providers and clinic support staff alongside the stories of women whose experience with abortion is more personal. With the particular aim of moving beyond the polarizing rhetoric that has characterized the issue of abortion and reproductive justice for so long, Without Apology is an engrossing and arresting account that will promote both reflection and discussion.

Shannon Stettner is a post-doctoral visitor in the Department of Political Science at York University and teaches in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is the co-founder of the Reproductive Activism and Abortion Research Network.

Introduction: Without Apology / Shannon Stettner

1 Abortion in Canada: A History / Shannon Stettner


Part I Speaking from Experience

2 Giving Voice to the Unspeakable / Judith Mintz

3 T.A. / Clarissa Hurley

4 But I Kept All These Things, and Pondered Them in My Heart / Jess Woolford

5 Keep It Small / Evey Hornbeck

6 A Bad Law and a Bold Woman / Bernadette Wagner

7 I Don’t Blame the Abortion / Rebecca

8 [untitled] / Mackenzie


Part II Abortion Rights Activism

9 The Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics: Reproductive Freedom and the Campaign to Overturn the Federal Abortion Law / Carolyn Egan and Linda Gardner

10 The Radical Handmaids and Stephen Harper’s War on Women, Battleground 2012: Reopening the Abortion Debate / Aalya Ahmad / Radical Handmaids

11 Arts4choice.com / Martha Solomon

12 "We Can Get There Faster If We All Move Together": The Birth of a Reproductive Justice Academic Activist / Colleen MacQuarrie

13 We Need to See Change: One Woman’s Motivations for Pushing Waves on Prince Edward Island / Sadie Roberts

14 Pro-Choice Organizing on Canadian University Campuses: Unpacking the Debate over Free Speech Versus Hate Speech / Kelly Holloway


Part III Challenging Opposing Positions

15 Blinded by the Right: My Past as an Anti-abortion Activist / Natalie Lochwin

16 One Woman’s Evolving View of Abortion / Tracey L. Anderson

17 Pro-Choice for God’s Sake / Shannon Pinkney

18 Abortion Commentary / Laura Wershler

19 Pro-abortion and Proud: Exploring Alternative Reproductive Justice Labels / Laura Gillespie

20 Same as It Ever Was: Anti-Choice Extremism and the "Third Way" / Jane Cawthorne

21 Women over Ideology / Nick Van der Graaf


Part IV Practitioners and Clinic Support

22 Lessons from Life in Abortion Care / Peggy Cooke

23 "Do you think I will go to hell for this?" / Ruth Miller

24 The Counsellor’s Voice / Erin Mullan

25 Empathy: Whose Choice Is OK? / Ellen Wiebe

26 Therapeutic Abortion / Sterling Haynes

27 "I am proud to provide abortions" / Evan James


Part V Sites of Struggle

28 The Choice Between Rights and Revolution / Karen Stote

29 Sex Selection Abortions: The Politics of Race in Multicultural Canada / Bindy Kang

30 The Public Pregnancy: How the Fetal Debut and the Public Health Paradigm Affect Pregnancy Practice / Jen Rinaldi

31 A Harm-Reduction Approach to Abortion / Shannon Dea


The Unfinished Revolution / Shannon Stettner

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