A Complicated Choice

Making Space for Grief and Healing in the Pro-Choice Movement

A Complicated Choice

Making Space for Grief and Healing in the Pro-Choice Movement

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Available January 18, 2022

Too often, the public abortion debate depicts the experience of ending a pregnancy in falsely simplistic terms. Anti-abortion activists falsely contend that abortion is always emotionally damaging for the pregnant person, while pro-choice activists focus on honoring bodily autonomy and personal conscience without always giving voice to the nuances of abortion itself. In particular, the pro-choice movement fails to acknowledge that some people experience abortion as a kind of loss.

A Complicated Choice addresses the fact that abortion stigma is ubiquitous, even among those who identify as pro-choice. We have not been supportive of people who have abortions, especially those whose experiences are complicated and involve grief and loss. Bringing the reader along the journeys of those who have had abortions, Rev. Katey Zeh opens up space for the complexities of our reproductive lives, giving voice to the experiences of grief, loss, and healing surrounding abortion experiences. She weaves these personal stories with key insights from the fields of psychology, theology, and public policy to illuminate the systemic injustices that undergird the conditions that shape a person's decision to end a pregnancy.

A Complicated Choice goes beyond the falsely simplistic terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" that define the public abortion debate and centers the real people making the decision to end a pregnancy in the context of their full lives and circumstances. A call to people of faith and to all people to examine our judgments about people who have abortions, we are invited into the act of sacred listening to the real stories of those most impacted. By focusing on these experiences, we will be drawn away from the stalemate of debate and into a spiritual response rooted in compassion for those who end pregnancies.

Endorsements

"A critical, essential offering to the national conversation about abortion that invites us to listen to those most impacted: the people who have made these decisions themselves. A Complicated Choice is a truly important offering for the United States today."

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Surprised by God and Nurture the Wow; Scholar in Residence, National Council of Jewish Women

"Katey Zeh creates conditions for choice and agency to guide the path for healing and community for those who walk the path of abortion."

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, author of Body Becoming and Activist Theology

"Katey Zeh takes on concepts of stigma and privilege without demur. She brings a powerful perspective as a woman of faith, and relies on that faith to open a fulsome and compassionate dialogue with people about their individual experiences with abortion in a series of interviews."

Herminia Palacio, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute

"Sharing personal stories, coupled with a fresh perspective on some well-known gospel verses, Katey Zeh brings so much compassion and nuance to the conversation about abortion."

Asha Dahya, author of Today's Wonder Women: Everyday Superheroes Who Are Changing the World

"In spaces where there is so much yelling and screaming about abortion, Rev. Zeh has taken the time to slow the pace, to listen and share, to shape a healing process that doesn't include blame or shame."

Pastor Kaji Dousa, senior pastor, Park Avenue Christian Church

"Refreshingly relatable. Zeh gifts her audience with concrete ways to wrestle with faith and abortion, making this book a significant resource for religious and medical communities as well as public policy influencers."

Monique Moultrie, associate professor of religious studies and director of undergraduate studies, Georgia State University

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506473499
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 200
  • Publication Date January 18, 2022
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