My contribution to Gender & Society’s blog.
By Deana A. Rohlinger
Feminist Gloria Steinem made headlines when journalists and pundits learned that she dedicated her new book, My Life on the Road, to Dr. Sharpe – the physician who performed her illegal abortion in 1957.
According to Steinem, Sharpe asked her to not reveal his identity and encouraged her to pursue her life’s passion. In response, Steinem writes:
Dear Dr. Sharpe,
I believe you, who knew the law was unjust, would not mind if I say this so long after your death:
I’ve done the best I could with my life.
This book is for you.
Mass media exploded with commentary on the controversial dedication.
Opponents of legal abortion criticized Steinem for “killing” her baby and advancing women’s rights by “destroying” the rights of the unborn. Others praised Steinem for being “badass” enough to tell her story and remind readers…
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