The Blood and Guts of Abortion
Victims of Choice
(Akron, Ohio:Brennyman Books, 1996, 196 pp., $19.95)
VICTIMS OF CHOICE is a compilation of accounts of women and girls who died, were maimed or otherwise traumatized by abortion. Author Kevin Sherlock cites court records, civil case records, newspaper clippings, medical journal studies, health department citations and other public documents to build his case against “choice.” Unlike most other books on abortion, Victims of Choice lists real names of the victims, the physicians who performed the abortions, and other people involved.
Chapter one, “On the Altar of Sisterhood,” gives a state by state index of the doctors who performed the abortions. In the introduction, the author explains that he names what he calls the“bottom dwellers of the medical profession” as part of his strategy to dispel the notion that abortion is safe, legal and rare. The book is filled with stories of the victims of abortions: college- aged women dying and housewives leaving several small children behind. In one account a mother holds her daughter’shand while she hemorrhages and dies. “[T]hese women and girls were all loved by someone … they were wives, or mothers, or sisters,or daughters, or sweethearts of people who cared about them,” writes Sherlock. “Their deaths must not be dismissed or forgotten so easily.”
Readers numbed by the sheer numbers—the more than 4,000 preborn babies aborted in the United States every day—will be sharply reminded of the individual lives shattered by the tragic procedure. Sherlock also writes about the complications associated with abortion, including the scientific link to breast cancer.
Victims of Choice is a grueling read. Grueling, because it is full of death; cold, hard statistics; names, places and people. By putting a human face on the tragedy of abortion, the book is bound to move some fence-sitters on the issue.
Raul Acosta is based in Colorado Springs, Colo.