In the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, we present to you a compilation of fiction and non-fiction titles which explore, illuminate, and educate on the subjects of reproductive freedom, abortion, parenthood, pregnancy, and beyond.
Digital book (DB), braille (BR), large print (LT), and audio described videos (DVD) copies of these titles are available from the Perkins Library or the Worcester Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.
Prepared by Chelsea Wood
Senior Reader Advisor
by Ellen Messer
DB 31578, Available as BARD Download
The experiences of women and a few men who were involved in unwanted pregnancies before the 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision by the Supreme Court made abortion legal. Those who had illegal abortions, who married “hurriedly,” who gave up a child for adoption, and those who raised a child alone tell their stories. Doctors and abortion activists also speak. 1988.
by Lyz Lenz
DB 100890, Available as BARD Download
A journalist examines the misogynistic logic of many American cultural narratives surrounding pregnancy and reflects on her own experiences with pregnancy. 2020.
by John Irving
DB 21531, BR 6178, LT 489, DB available as BARD Download
Set in rural Maine at the turn of the century, this is the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch, saint, obstetrician, orphanage director, ether addict, and abortionist. His medical practices are hindered and abetted by his favorite orphan, Homer Wells. The novel is based on documents left by the author’s physician grandfather. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1985..
by Joshua Prager
DB 105723, Available as BARD Download
The author of Echoing Green (DB 64393) provides a detailed account of the famous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. Covering fifty years of history, the author profiles the key players, recounts both the trial and surrounding events, the subsequent trajectory of the “Roe” family, and more. 2021.
by Joanne Ramos
DB 95057, Available as BARD Download
Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, was searching for a better future when she committed to being a surrogate mother. The arrangement requires that she stay on the Farm, a retreat in the Hudson Valley where all her needs are met—and her every move is monitored. 2019.
by Karen Blumenthal
DB 98618, Available as BARD Download
Award-winning author traces the path to the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade and examines the root causes of the current debate around abortion. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
by Nancy Johnson
DB 102560, BR 23701, Available as BARD Download
Needing to reconnect with the baby she gave up for adoption years earlier, an Ivy League-educated African American engineer uncovers devastating family secrets before her bond with a young white misfit scandalizes her racially torn community. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2021.
Download The Kindest Lie, DB 102560
by Peter Ho Davies
DB 102435, Available as BARD Download
A writer struggles after he and his wife make a decision to terminate a pregnancy when they discover there would be serious birth defects. That decision reverberates through the years, especially when their next pregnancy also involves a difficult birth and possible developmental issues with their child. 2021.
by Christa Parravani
DB 101610, Available as BARD Download
The author recounts the struggles she faced attempting to access reproductive rights, the consequences of those barriers, and the inadequate healthcare that endangered all three of her children. She discusses the difficult choices faced by American women fighting for agency over their bodies, futures, and children’s lives. 2020.
by Jennifer Haigh
DB 107249, LT 30953, Available as BARD Download
Claudia is a counselor at Mercy Street, a women’s clinic. She knows her work is important, but she is stressed by the daily antiabortion protests. Her stress relief comes from visits to her pot dealer, Timmy. Another of Timmy’s customers is Anthony, who has been taking pictures of women entering Mercy Street. 2022.
by Brit Bennett
DB 86020, LT 21126, Available as BARD Download
In a contemporary black community, 17-year-old Nadia Turner mourns the suicide of her mother, leading her to take up with the local’s pastor’s son; but when she gets pregnant, the pregnancy and the subsequent cover-up will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.
by Kate Manning
DB 77911, Available as BARD Download
New York City, 1860. Twelve-year-old Axie Muldoon comes to the attention of the Children’s Aid Society. Sent west with her siblings on the orphan train, Axie is apprenticed to a doctor. She grows up to become a medical specialist in women’s concerns—but is on the run from the law. 2013.
Download My Notorious Life, DB 77911
by Katha Pollitt
DB 80082, Available as BARD download
Author of Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism (DB 41125) argues that abortion should be a moral right with positive social implications. Supports expansive and fair-minded discussion of this issue, which, many years after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, remains deeply polarizing. 2014.
by Leni Zumas
DB 90345, BR 22215, LT 23712, Available as BARD Download
In a small Oregon fishing town in a near-future America, five women navigate new barriers surrounding sexual and reproductive rights. They face single motherhood, crumbling marriages, teenage pregnancy, modern-day witch hunts, and more. 2018.
by Vicki O. Wittenstein
DB 84587, Available as BARD Download
Overview of the history of disputes over human reproduction practices, including contraception, sex education, and abortion. Highlights notable individuals such as Margaret Sanger and Mary Ware Dennett, who were demonized for their advocacy of women’s rights to have access to birth control. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2016.
by Ellen Chesler
DB 35568, Available as BARD Download
Biography of the founder of Planned Parenthood. Conflicting images portray Margaret Sanger as a woman who fights passionately for women’s rights while preferring male company, and a caring mother who abandons her children. This rebellious pioneer, arrested in 1916 for opening a birth control clinic, spent the next half-century crusading for access to contraception.