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25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion

Long after its deput publication, TCWM remains part of the cultural conversation


"I could build a small habitable cabin of all the books I read for research, but I am especially thankful for The Choices We Made by Angela Bonavoglia, which helped me wrap my post-Roe v. Wade mind around the pre-Roe v. Wade era."

--Novelist Myla Goldberg, Feast Your Eyes, 2019

(Also author, The Bee Season)


"The Choices We Made ends with a couple of stories about the early days of legal abortion. One is told by Byllye Avery, who founded the first abortion clinic in Gainesville, Florida. The office space she and her three colleagues rented had a terrible tile floor, and the clinic's nurse said they needed to cover it. There was no money left for the shag rug they all wanted to buy, but the nurse said her mother-in-law was going to pay for it.."A river of blood runs through The Choices We Made, and it runs throughout the history of womankind. That river stops, more or less, with the installation of that shag carpet. The carpet, and the women who found the money to pay for it, along with all the women and men who made possible a context in which an abortion could be performed legally, safely and even humanely--together they say: Enough."
--Caitlin Flanagan, "The Bloodiness of Being Female"
The Atlantic, May 2007


"The Illegal Days," in Just As I Thought, reprinted from TCWM

--Beloved author Grace Paley's memoir, her last book, 1998 

Original Reviews


"Journalist Angela Bonavoglia steps back and lets the contributors speak for themselves in honest, conversational tones."
--The New York Times

"Powerful oral history--a collection of wrenching testimonials...Anybody who has strong feelings about the issue, no matter which side he or she supports, would find it worthwhile reading. To what has become a highly publicized and sometimes nasty debate, The Choices We Made gives a human face."
--The Seattle Times

"This book brings a human dimension to the debate about a woman's right to choose...Highly recommended."
--Library Journal

"Old and young, rich and poor, black and white, celebrities and unknowns--the voices vary...but their stories...have a powerful cumulative impact. Not for the fainthearted.
--Kirkus Review

Random House, 1991
Four Walls Eight Windows/Seal Press, 2001