The Story of Abortion in America: A Street-Level History, 1652–2022

By Marvin Olasky, Leah Savas

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Expected: Jan 3, 2023

The Story of Abortion in America: A Street-Level History, 1652–2022

By Marvin Olasky, Leah Savas

... Show All

Tracing the History of Abortion in America by Looking beyond the Laws to the Dramatic Stories and Colorful Personalities of the People They Touched

Fifty years ago, the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion-on-demand sparked nationwide tensions that continue to this day. In the decades since that ruling, abortion opponents and proponents have descended on the Capitol each year for marches and protests. But this story didn’t begin with the Supreme Court in the 1970s; arguments about abortion have been a part of American history since the 17th century. So how did we get here?

The Story of Abortion in America traces the long cultural history of this pressing issue from 1652 to today, focusing on the street-level activities of those drawn into the battles willingly or unwillingly. Authors Marvin Olasky and Leah Savas show complex lives on both sides: Some sacrificed much to help the poor and others sacrificed the helpless to empower themselves. The Story of Abortion in America argues that whatever happens legally won’t end the debate, but it will affect lives. 

  • A Fair Survey of the History of the Debate: Opening with a foreword by renowned social conservative thinker Robert P. George, this book explores historic cases and key cultural moments from 1652 to 2022
  • Examines 5 Selling Points Used by Each Side in Different Eras: Anatomy, Bible, Community, Danger, and Enforcement
  • Chronicles the History of Abortion through Personal Narratives: Includes the memorable stories of Isaac Hathaway, Susan Warren, Elizabeth Lumbrozo, John McDowell, Hugh Hodge, Madame Restell, Augustus St. Clair, Inez Burns, Robert Dickinson, Sherri Finkbine, Henry Hyde, John Piper, Lila Rose, Terrisa Bukovinac, Mark Lee Dickson, and many others
  • Written for a Diverse Audience: While particularly useful for Christians who want to understand the history of abortion and its impact on American politics and culture, the book speaks to anyone who cares about abortion 


Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky (PhD, University of Michigan) is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute and the author of 28 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion and Lament for a Father. From 1983 through 2021 he was a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the editor in chief of WORLD. He and his wife, Susan, have four sons.

Leah Savas

Leah Savas reports on abortion for WORLD News Group, where she writes the weekly Vitals roundup and newsletter of pro-life news. Leah lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, Stephen.

Product Details

Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 496
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 20.0 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8044-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8044-4
ISBN-UPC: 9781433580444
Case Quantity: 10
Published: January 03, 2023

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Street Level vs. Suite Level
Section One: Illegal, Unacceptable, and Rare, 1652–1842
Chapter 2: Common Law, Common Sense
Chapter 3: Murder of a Man Child
Chapter 4: Pressuring the Father
Chapter 5: Bitter Execrations
Chapter 6: An Oath for Midwives
Chapter 7: Double Robbery
Chapter 8: A Fallen Pro-Life Founder 
Chapter 9: Laws and Scofflaws
Chapter 10: Insufficient Protection for Women
Section Two: Specialization Begins, 1838–1878
Chapter 11: A Fatal Needle
Chapter 12: The Welfare of Two Patients 
Chapter 13: Madame Restell 
Chapter 14: An Unstoppable Force?
Chapter 15: A Moral Maelstrom
Chapter 16: The Unwelcome Child
Chapter 17: Doctors Push Back
Chapter 18: Massacres
Chapter 19: Compassion vs. Abortion
Chapter 20: Thugs of Society
Section Three: Supply Side, Demand Side, 1871–1940
Chapter 21: A Much Pulverized Reporter
Chapter 22: The Victims Are…
Chapter 23: Problems of Enforcement
Chapter 24: Horror Stories
Chapter 25: Medical Heroines
Chapter 26: The Erring Women’s Refuge
Chapter 27: Frustrated Doctors
Chapter 28: Old-School Abortionists
Chapter 29: Twentieth-Century Compassion
Chapter 30: Million-Dollar Hands
Section Four: To Roe and Capsize, 1930–1995
Chapter 31: Linkages
Chapter 32: Complicated Lives
Chapter 33: Losing the Baby
Chapter 34: Playing the Danger Card
Chapter 35: The Father of Abortion Rights
Chapter 36: Eroded Ethic
Chapter 37: On the Disassembly Line
Chapter 38: Pro-Life Frustration 
Chapter 39: Pictures Seen and Unseen
Chapter 40: Bottoming Out
Section Five: Still Unsettled, 1995–2022 
Chapter 41: Window to the Womb
Chapter 42: Loving Your Unborn Neighbor
Chapter 43: Sensational Facts
Chapter 44: A Sanitized Image
Chapter 45: Aborting Alone
Chapter 46: Incremental vs. Radical
Chapter 47: The Abortion-Industrial Complex
Chapter 48: A New Enforcement Mechanism
Chapter 49: Their One Person
Chapter 50: 2022