Fighting to Choose

This page collects updates and info about “Fighting to Choose” in one place.

From my Blog 28 January 2014: All the Reviews

I’ve pretty much recovered from the 2013 Prochoice Highway tour, phew! And all the reviews my book, Fighting to Choose: The Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand, is going to get are probably FIghting to choose picin, so I thought I’d close out  posts about the book with the complete (so far as I know) list of and links to all the reviews, starting with the most recent (and most negative), in the Listener. (Must say, I was pretty pleased to get a review there, bad or not! And, see, I am resisting  carping about it…just!)

Reviews

January 18, 2014, Listener, (links to pdf) Reviewed by Rosemary McLeod (There were a couple of letters that took issue with Rosemary’s review.)

Women’s Studies Journal (NZ), 2013, 27:1. (Links to pdf) Reviewed by Linda Bryder.

October 19, Otago Daily Times:  Abortion Rights Struggle Makes Compelling Read, by Elspeth McLean

September 2013:  (links to pdf) Journal of Primary Healthcare, Vol 5, No 3, Sept 2013, by Dr. Carol Shand

August 16: Online in the Nelson Mail, by Sarah Dunn.

July 2. Scoop Review of Books, by Megan Whelan

June 25. The International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand, by Shomi Yoon.

May 23. At the Booksellers New Zealand Blog, by Nikki Whyte.

May 9. At Ideologically Impure, by Queen of Thorns.

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From my Blog 28 July 2013: Auckland Book Launch

The Auckland launch of Fighting to Choose: The Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand on 24 July was rather a lot of fun, and I’m very grateful to everyone who helped make it happen, especially Linda at the Gus Fisher Gallery, Laila Harré (who gave a most generous speech!), the women of WONAAC (the Women’s National Abortion Action Campaign), ALRANZ, the Auckland Medical Aid Trust, Carole and Tanya of The Women’s BookshopVictoria University Press, Auckland Pro-Choice People, and of course everyone who came along. I had a seriously good time, and the collection of Double Standards were popular, with a few of the young feminists suggesting it be revived. Go for it!

The good and bad news was that we ran out of books, which was entirely my bad because I’d promised to take a supply of extras but didn’t quite have enough. Sorry Carole! But we did not run out of wine, and that’s probably more important.

Egging Me On

After campus security learned that a dozen eggs had been thrown at the Gus Fisher Gallery’s door the night before (an unprecedented occurrence so…draw your own conclusions), they posted a couple of guards outside. The best comment about the egging came from a friend in Tauranga, who’s something of an animal rights activist (besides being pro-choice of course): “I hope they were free range”, she said, followed by “what a waste”. Precisely.

Here are a couple of pix from the event, but please hop over to the Prochoice Highway site to stay up to date with the tour, which starts in September. (Same photos over there, I’m afraid. We didn’t enlist enough amateur photogs…)

Part of the display table at the Auckland launch, showing The Yellow Rabbit, and the 1980 Xmas Crossword special edition of The Double Standard.
Part of the display table at the Auckland launch, showing The Yellow Rabbit, and the 1980 Xmas Crossword special edition of The Double Standard.
Laila Harré speaking at the Auckland launch.
Laila Harré speaking at the Auckland launch.

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From my Blog 26 June 2013: Book Update: Events, Reviews

This is the year of the book for me, and it really hits high speed in September when the Prochoice Highway takes to the road. In the meantime, there are a few book related events percolating over the winter, and the list is kept up-to-date over at the Highway’s events page. Here’s the latest rundown:

27 June 2013: Alison McCulloch and Morgan Healey will speak at the Wellington Rape Crisis AGM. (Not a public event.)

24 July 2013: Auckland launch of Fighting to Choose. 5:30 pm for a 6 pm start, central Auckland. Email the Highway for details or keep an eye on your in-box for an official invite.

26-27 July 2013: An ALRANZ/Highway book and info stall at the CTU Women’s Conference in Wellington.

29 July-2 August 2013: Otago University Students’ Association Women’s Week. Details TBA.

23-25 August 2013: A Highway book and info stall at Labour Women’s Conference: Community Building Project, Onehunga, Auckland.

25 August 2013: Ladies’ Litera-Tea. From 1-5 p.m. Auckland. Details TBA.

                          

Reviews

Women’s Studies Journal (NZ), 2013, 27:1. (Links to a PDF) Reviewed by Linda Bryder.

October 19, Otago Daily Times:  Abortion Rights Struggle Makes Compelling Read, by Elspeth McLean

September 2013:  (links to pdf) Journal of Primary Healthcare, Vol 5, No 3, Sept 2013, by Dr. Carol Shand

August 16: Online in the Nelson Mail, by Sarah Dunn.

July 2. Scoop Review of Books, by Megan Whelan

June 25. The International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand, by Shomi Yoon.

May 23. At the Booksellers New Zealand Blog, by Nikki Whyte.

May 9. At the Daily Blog, by Queen of Thorns.

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From my Blog 4 May 2013: Launched!

The book is launched. Phew! It was a wild ride, which included an interview with a BoP Times reporter about the new early medication abortion service in Tauranga while traveling in a taxi en route TO the launch (book about the struggle meets the struggle); dropping my room key down a storm water drain in a downpour and actually managing to fish it out, all while wearing purple pyjamas and getting soaked; going into VicBooks to do the “sign some books”

Dame Margaret Sparrow and moi at the book launch. (Copyright is Vic Uni Press.)

Dame Margaret Sparrow and moi at the book launch. (Copyright is Vic Uni Press.)

thing, and being evacuated because of some alarm. False I guess, but I didn’t wait to find out because I had to meet the lovely Zenaida, but messed that up  – we were waiting in different cafes on opposite sides of town. At the launch (thank you so much VicBooks and VUP), I met people I wish I’d found BEFORE I finished writing the book, but then again, it’s always hard to STOP researching. Scored a lovely bottle of Scotch from the WONAAC women (my request!), had an excellent ALRANZ AGM and weekend at the Women’s Studies Association Conference trying out some of the Prochoice Highway stuff. Had some orders for the Body Politics calendars and scanned some great images from Margaret Sparrow’s personal collection for said calendar. Has anyone heard of Condoman? Not sure if he’s sound as I don’t really know anything about him, but Margaret had some Condoman patches, which must be collector’s items or something. Speaking of Dame Margaret Sparrow, my all-time favourite photo of the self (and I don’t usually like them) is now the one attached to this post because I’m next to her (at the book launch). Oh, and I met the Queen of Thorns. At least, I think it was her, but can one ever really be sure? Finally, I nearly forgot (did I want to forget?) there was a Kim Hill interview on RNZ on Saturday 27th. That was pretty intense, and I haven’t plucked up the courage yet to listen back to the podcast.

Missed you Linn and Helen!

UPDATE: Thanks to Scoop.co.nz for making a video of the launch, and putting the speeches (they’re short, honest!) on YouTube. Links to those are at the ALRANZ blog.

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Updated: 26 April, 2013

Off to Wellington today for the Women’s Studies Association conference this weekend, where I will be talking about and selling (early, because the book launch isn’t till May Day) my new book, Fighting to Choose, and introducing people to the Prochoice Highway, which is a books-cum-spread-the-word project I’m doing this year in conjunction with a few cool people including ALRANZ. Also, the ALRANZ AGM is on Tuesday 30 April, also in Wellington. And, yes, on May Day the book is officially being launched. Write to me if you want venue etc. details! Meanwhile, I’m on Saturday with Kim Hill tomorrow morning to talk about the book. More updates to come…

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Posted: 15 April, 2013

“Fighting to Choose: The Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand” (Victoria University Press) has been printed and is in hand — it’s due to be officially launched on May Day, 1 May, in Wellington. I’m going to be giving a talk/having a discussion on the book at the Women’s Studies Association Conference in Wellington the weekend before 26-28 April, where ALRANZ and the Prochoice Highway will have a stall with books and lots of other nifty stuff. Please stop by, and find out more about the book and the Highway. And if you’re an ALRANZ member, it’ll all be at the AGM on April 30. (If you’re not, you could always join…)

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POSTED 18 FEB, 2013

More than thirty years ago, at the height of the second wave of feminism, New Zealand passed a conservative abortion law that bucked a trend in the West toward liberalisation. How did this happen in a country that prided itself on its progressive social policies – particularly its record on women’s rights? And why is such a cumbersome, expensive, endlessly litigated set of statutes still on the books?

Fighting to Choose, forthcoming with Victoria University Press in 2013, sets out to answer those questions by chronicling one of the most important and yet neglected chapters in New Zealand’s recent political history. Based on interviews and in-depth research in numerous archives as well as personal and public collections of papers, Fighting to Choose introduces readers to the main players in what was – and continues to be – an intense and impassioned struggle, analyses their tactics and investigates what happened, and why.

The book is currently in production. Oh, and it’s up over at VUP under forthcoming.

A book (not just mine) slash campaign tour, called the Pro-Choice Highway, is scheduled for around October 2013. More details coming early in 2013. Say, by February!

Oh, and speaking of pro-choice activism, I appeared on an item on Close-Up in October 2012 debating an anti-abortion advocate about the new abortion service in Invercargill.

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[Cover Design by Zenaida]

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