By Wendy Simonds
These are the questions that force Wendy Simonds' Abortion at Work. Simonds files the methods in which staff at a feminist health center build compelling feminist visions, and likewise watch their beliefs fall brief in perform. Simonds translates those women's narratives to get at how abortion works on feminism, and to exhibit what feminism can achieve by way of rethinking abortion using those activists' phrases. In completely enticing prose, Simonds frames her research with a relocating account of her personal own figuring out of the issues.
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Extra resources for Abortion at work: ideology and practice in a feminist clinic
My work draws on and contributes to continuing feminist sociological efforts to uncover how personal views about abortion and feminism are shaped by social forces (for example, Echols 1989, Evans 1979, Freeman 1975, Ginsburg 1989, Luker 1984, and Martin 1989). This study is also indebted to ethnography that examines service work and "dirty" workplaces (for example, Ball 1967, Detlefs 1984, Hochschild 1983, Hughes 1971,Joffe 1986, Leidner 1993, Lipsky 1980, Simonds 1991, and Walsh 1974). I show how Center staff members worked through a moral minefield of anti-abortion rhetoric to arrive at feminist "truths," both general and specific (and always in support of abortion); how they dealt with ambivalent feelings about their work, about feminism, and about feminist practice; how they cast their work as crucial to the status of women; and how their experiences ''doing" feminism on the job led them to think about the future of procreative freedom.
Thanks to Bobbie Simonds, Gordon Simonds, Lauren Simonds, Danny Malamud, and Judie Malamud. Randy Malamud and Jacob Simonds-Malamud inspire me on a daily basis, each in his own way; together they make my life happy, which makes writing possible. Dweeb Simonds, once again, deserves praise for consistently warming and refraining from eating the pages. Page 1 INTRODUCTION Abortion Work and Feminist Ideology When Roe v Wade made abortion legal in this country, I was ten years old. I have no memory of the event.
As these poll data show, the act of abortion is troubling to many Americans. Tatalovich and Daynes write that "the public never fully accepted the right of abortion on demand" (1981: 84), and they chart the public's wary view of abortion rights through the 1970s. They conclude that "the Supreme Court's decisions [in the 1970s] would appear to enjoy public support, but other data suggest that public support for Wade is soft. . By the late 1970s the pro-life movement was becoming more effective in articulating its position, whereas the pro-choice forces may have taken their victory for granted and not sustained their propaganda momentum" (130).
Abortion at work: ideology and practice in a feminist clinic by Wendy Simonds