By Alaka Malwade Basu
Non-fiction (global), 288 pages
Publisher: Praeger, January 30, 2003
Seeking to define the ways various cultures view pregnancy, miscarriage, and abortion, this multidisciplinary collection of essays seeks to illustrate how these views influence policy decisions and practices regarding abortion around the world. Putting questions of pro-life and pro-choice aside, the contributors provide demographic coverage of the issues involved and contextualize some of the personal realities that underlie the approximately 50 million abortions that are believed to take place yearly worldwide. While the political and social climates in which women seek abortions vary from place to place, many of the chapters try to understand the moral implications that guide the decision to end a pregnancy from the perspective of the those who seek to do so.
Focusing primarily on developing nations, this important contribution to the literature on abortion provides readers with a careful overview of the different meanings attached to abortion depending on the cultural, social, and political climate. Areas covered include Tanzania, Bangladesh, West Africa, Ghana, Romania, Russia, Mexico, and Nigeria. General chapters on induced abortion, demographic research and abortion policy, and social pressures to abort are also included. This unique approach to the study of abortion will contribute to a greater understanding of a prominent social issue.