Essential Repro Reads

Favorites From the Field Team

April 23 is World Book Day! To celebrate, we’re sharing a list of nine powerful and impactful books about reproductive health and rights we’ve read recently. We hope they get you fired up and ready to fight for reproductive freedom for all!

The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World

By Michelle Goldberg

An exploration of the deep grip of conservative politics and religious fundamentalism on the state of reproductive rights, and women’s rights more broadly, around the world. Written by an investigative journalist, it uses storytelling and reporting to highlight how women’s bodies are controlled by those in power.

– Rebecca, Senior Director of Outreach and Advocacy

The Handmaid’s Tale

By Margaret Atwood

A Fiction Pick (or is it?): This is a frightening reminder of what happens when fundamentalists gain power and exploit the idea that women are nothing more than vessels. I surprisingly didn’t read this for the first time until a couple of years ago (how did I miss this in high school??) and it really hits home in Trump’s America.

– Rebecca, Senior Director of Outreach and Advocacy

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

By Kathryn Joyce

Joyce explores the world of the Quiverfull movement, whose adherents believe in having as many children as God gives them as a means of winning the culture war through demography.

– Stacie, Director of Congressional Relations

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade

By Ann Fessler

The stories of some of the million and a half women who gave up children for adoption in the decades before Roe v. Wade. I sobbed.

– Stacie, Director of Congressional Relations

This is not an easy book to read, but I think it is an important one and a side of history I hadn’t considered before. As someone who was born after Roe v. Wade, this was an eye-opening look at the lives of single women before abortion became a constitutional right.

Tori, Individual Giving Manager

Her Body, Our Laws: On the Front Lines of the Abortion War, from El Salvador to Oklahoma

By Michelle Oberman

In this book, Oberman researches the legal side of abortion throughout the world and what can happen when abortion is a crime. It gives a new perceptive on the abortion debate and the dire consequences that arise. I don’t agree with all her conclusions, especially regarding political unity, but I think it is an interesting look at abortion and the law.

Tori, Individual Giving Manager

Dr. T: A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure

By Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng

Dr. T is a sexual and reproductive health and rights expert, and has partnered with us in the #Fight4HER to end Trump’s Global Gag Rule. In her book, Dr. T creates an easy and relatable guide to all things related to sexual health—from understanding your body to understanding your options to reproductive health care.

– Lindsay, National Field Manager

Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus

By Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan

Both professors at Columbia University, the authors present the results of a comprehensive study on sexual assault among students at Columbia. Told through the stories of student experiences, it explores the nuances of consent, geography, privilege, and power. It’s a must-read for sexual and reproductive health experts, parents with kids heading off to college, and students gearing up for their first year of university life.

– Lauren, Advocacy Specialist

The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service

By Laura Kapan

This book chronicles the tale of Jane, an underground collective in Chicago that helped women have abortions in the years directly before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, as told by a member of Jane. It’s a powerful reminder of risks that people took in order to have abortions before Roe v. Wade and will leave you inspired by these badass women who stepped up and took action, even when it meant breaking the law.

– Lauren, Advocacy Specialist

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

By Dorothy Roberts

This book explores and exposes the systemic abuse of black women’s bodies throughout U.S. history. It’s a powerful primer on structural racism and the argument for reproductive justice. Reading this made me mad, and sad, and outright horrified by the ways in which U.S. society has, and continues to, control the bodies of black and brown women.

– Trisha, Senior Grassroots Outreach & Advocacy Fellow

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