Cover of The New States of Abortion Politics by Joshua C. Wilson
The New States of Abortion Politics
Joshua C. Wilson


128 pages.

Paperback ISBN: 9780804792028
Ebook ISBN: 9781503600539

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The 2014 Supreme Court ruling on McCullen v. Coakley striking down a Massachusetts law regulating anti-abortion activism marked the reengagement of the Supreme Court in abortion politics. A throwback to the days of clinic-front protests, the decision seemed a means to reinvigorate the old street politics of abortion. The Court's ruling also highlights the success of a decades' long effort by anti-abortion activists to transform the very politics of abortion. The New States of Abortion Politics, written by leading scholar Joshua C. Wilson, tells the story of this movement, from streets to legislative halls to courtrooms.

With the end of clinic-front activism, lawyers and politicians took on the fight. Anti-abortion activists moved away from a doomed frontal assault on Roe v. Wade and adopted an incremental strategy—putting anti-abortion causes on the offensive in friendly state forums and placing reproductive rights advocates on the defense in the courts. The Supreme Court ruling on Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016 makes the stakes for abortion politics higher than ever. This book elucidates how—and why.

About the author

Joshua C. Wilson is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver. He is the author of The Street Politics of Abortion: Speech, Violence, and America's Culture Wars (Stanford, 2013).

"The New States of Abortion Politics will change how we think about abortion politics in America."

—Kristin Luker, author of Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood

"The New States of Abortion Politics is invaluable in understanding the current political realities surrounding this vital issue. Well written, insightful, and original."

—Erwin Chemerinsky, author of The Case Against the Supreme Court