This chapter raised some interesting questions. It discussed several of the legal proceedings relating to abortion rights that were going on at the time. It also discussed what women themselves were largely pushing for – no legal involvement in abortion whatsoever. Basically, the questions stands – why can abortion be legislated? Why is it legislated? Wouldn’t it make sense for it to be entirely up to a woman and her doctor? What business do judges and politicians have being involved in the whole thing. It really doesn’t make any sense.
This section was more parties and social interactions. I really can’t imagine living in this world. It sounds rather boring, for one thing. The plot (if you can really call it a plot) has continued to follow Adam’s money troubles. I completely can’t understand how he survives during the times when he has no money (which is quite often). His on-again/off-again engagement to Nina continues to baffle me as well! Everyone is just so apathetic about everything! I just can’t handle how little anyone seems to care about anything or anyone else. “Vile Bodies” really does seem the most appropriate description for the people in this book!
This was a really interesting chapter because it went a little more in depth on what other groups were doing and thinking about abortion. The most interesting to me, in view of what is going on in the country now, was the discussion of the religious group in Chicago. It seems to have been started by a man named Harris Wilson, but he certainly wasn’t the first religious leader in the country to do so. In fact, a number of Protestant leaders gave reasons why, as Protestants, they believed that laws should not govern abortions.
This quote is from Howard Moody, a Baptist minister, in 1967. He said that “it is a violation of every Protestant ethical stance to support with civil law any matter of personal morality…” and that this included laws governing abortions. I’m fascinated by this quote. To me, it is what I grew up being told the Republican Party was for – not governing anything that should be a “matter of personal morality”. But it certainly doesn’t seem to be what the Republican Party stands for now. Or what Protestant faiths in our country seem to be, by and large, supporting. Why the change? What caused it and when and why? I really want to look into that. I wonder if I can find the Republican platforms from the last forty years or so somewhere?
This chapter made me want to really look into not only the history of religious leaders in American in regards to abortion, but also the history of the Republican party and the history of Howard Moody and Harris Wilson themselves.
This book has not started out as well as Brideshead Revisited, but I am amused and intrigued thus far. Adam is an amusing character, but I don’t understand Nina very well. I think that perhaps it’s more that I don’t quite understand the world she lives in. I am very entertained by the world described in the book thus far, but I also know that I wouldn’t want to live in it!
I am so amazed at the level of uncertainty the women of Jane dealt with. How could you have any certainty at all that what you were doing was good if you had no certainty about anything? Everything they knew came from second-hand knowledge and reports from outsiders. There weren’t books where they could learn about anatomy and physiology, pregnancy, anything. Given that we have the internet and books on just about every subject easily available it’s hard to envision the complete lack of information that these women dealt with. I can’t even imagine how scary it had to be! I’m fascinated by reading this, worried about it coming to underground movements like this again, and relieved that the lack of knowledge, at least, is one thing that we won’t have to go through again if it does come down to it.
Well, I haven’t even gotten into the story itself thus far, just the author’s note and the introductory quote from “Through the Looking Glass”. The Red Queen’s running quote seems vaguely appropriate to much of Waugh’s work! I love that in the author’s note Waugh tells us what the date of Christmas is, just in case anyone wouldn’t know, when giving the chronology for the book. I can’t wait to dive into the story itself!
This book ends well. It nicely wraps up everything, but you still feel like life will go on. Sometimes at the end of an adventure novel like this it feels like life for the hero would be too boring to stand after the story ends, but in this one it feels like William has really grown and can fully appreciate returning to his normal life. It feels like he could appreciate what it has to offer him, although he will never forget his experiences.
I think that what I like the most about this book so far is that the women in it are portrayed as very human. Yes, they were making history, and yes, they were standing up for their own rights, but they are very real as well. They are afraid of being caught, afraid of what might happen to the women they help, proud of what they believe, and proud of their own lives. They are mothers, sisters and friends. Each one is doing what she believes is right, even if the law says it is wrong. The story is a very real one and it’s nice that it’s being told with that in mind.
Now we’ve gotten to the “boy-as-hero” portion of the story. I like that he is able to (mostly) follow directions when they are given. It is sometimes difficult to remember that some characters really are able to follow what are generally fairly simple directions. I also think that it’s cute that William talks to Mrs Phillips even though she isn’t there. It’s sweet.
This was a really interesting chapter. It discussed the logistical issues of counceling the women and connecting them with the doctors. It also discussed how they found and checked out the doctors. What I found particularly interesting was the discussion of money and cost. The doctors charged $500 – $1000 per abortion. That’s a lot of money. They argued that was what it was worth and the women in the organization encouraged women to sell things and ask friends and relatives for help to play for it. I understand why the women were (mostly) ok with it costing that much, after all, this affects the rest of their lives, but why did the doctors charge so much? From what I understand from the book and what I’ve learned elsewhere (The Well Timed Period is a good resource), the procedure itself is fairly simple. So why the high cost? Did they figure it offset the risk they ran in doing it and breaking the law? Were they just greedy? Were they trying to punish the women? It just seems *so* high for such a simple procedure! The book doesn’t speculate about the reasons, but I can’t help but wonder.
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