Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Book Review: Loved and Wanted: An American Woman's Education on Choice by Christa Parravani

Christa meets a man who she marries a little later in life, so they have kids right away. Two adorable daughters, and things seem perfect. While his career has had its ups and downs (he writes for Hollywood), Christa gets offered a full professorship at West Virginia University, After losing their shirt and then some in LA more than once, a steady, prestigious job in a gorgeous location seems ideal. The pay is not great, but it's just enough. 

And then Christa realizes she's pregnant for a third time. Unplanned. And not exactly wanted. In fact, this child will be a huge burden to their already overtaxed family. And like thousands of married women, she seeks out other options. And yet, she's in West Virginia. So the options that are available to many Americans, and are supposed to be legal in all of America, aren't exactly open to her.

There is exactly one abortion clinic in the state of West Virginia,and it's three hours away. And because of two-step procedures and the chance of complications and the need for recovery, she'd have to stay several days. What would she do with her daughters during that time (yes, her husband is kind of useless but that's not the point here.) She could instead try Pittsburgh but that's also 3+ hours away, so same problems. She tries to get the drug RU-486 but, while she finds a doctor who would prescribe it for her under the table, the doctor warns her that if she has complications and goes to the ER, they won't treat her. And the doctor would herself be fired.

So Christa is now faced with another, even more gut-wrenching choice than before. It's hard enough to decide to terminate a pregnancy, but then what that choice isn't actually available to you--what next? 

This book is published by Henry Holt, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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