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Willie Parker

Författare till Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice

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Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice (2017) 168 exemplar, 6 recensioner


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Parker, Willie



Such an important book. Everyone should read this. Dr. Willie Parker is my hero and he is a saint for the important work he does with compassion and without judgment. I'm going to start a Dr. Willie Parker fan club.
Dairyqueen84 | 5 andra recensioner | Mar 15, 2022 |
I come from a very different background and faith tradition from Dr. Parker, but his book deeply resonated with me. It is a political, moral, and religious explanation of his work as an abortion provider.

This book will not convince those who believe that abortion is murder and that is the end of the story, as the one star reviews here show. But many of us do not live in such a black and white moral world (and, Dr. Parker says, this belief is relatively recent for Protestants). I grew up believing, and still believe, that the Bible specifically says abortion is not murder, though it does not explicitly say if it is permissible or not. Instead, Dr. Parker believes in a theology of compassion for the women he treats, and an understanding that the Bible defends all manner of oppression against women that we do not accept today. In his view (and mine) a great deal of anti abortion activism today is based on sexual control of women. In my own experience, I have seen people opposed to abortion harden their hearts against the issues women face, and say they should have made better choices so they would not be in a position to need an abortion, or that their abortion is not truly necessary.

Dr. Parker's personal story is also well worth reading--his path to becoming a doctor was far from simple, and his decision to return to the South to serve the women there was not easy. It's a reminder of the many difficulties children, especially black children, face in order to succeed.

There were two specific small details that did not sit well with me. One was his assertion (repeated twice) that fetuses do not feel pain before 29 weeks. I don't know the science about fetuses in-utero and pain, but what I do know is that claims about pain have been used to deny that early preemies do not feel pain--and many NICU parents can tell you otherwise. I don't know if this is an error of science or phrasing, since it's clearly intended to apply to abortion and not to preemies in a NICU. Two, he slams perinatal hospice as a pro life front. Pro life activists may have latched on to perinatal hospice, and there may not be a defined medical protocol for it yet, but I have read about hospice programs that were helpful to families.
… (mer)
arosoff | 5 andra recensioner | Jul 11, 2021 |
This is a book that had been languishing on my TBR too long until the recent shitstorm of forced-birth legislation in the South prompted me to look this up at the local library. I was familiar with Parker only superficially as a doctor-activist in the reproductive rights community. While I feel the sub-title is a bit misleading (this is less a moral argument for choice as it is one man's personal/moral/religious journey around the topic of abortion), I found Parker's story so moving and interesting that I could hardly put it down.

Aspects of this book I particularly enjoyed/appreciated: the ways in which Parker's faith and morality have been guided by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other peace and justice activists, his "life is a process" position, and his careful dismantling of the ways we've come to view Christianity, conservative politics, and the cluster of positions often called "family values" as inseparable -- revealing all of these interpretations and associations as choices -- and giving thoughtful, moral, meaningful interpretations of those oft-referenced Bible verses and political positions. I especially appreciated his direct takedown of the "abortion is black genocide" propaganda.

I do disagree with a few of Parker's positions, but I respect the way he centers the women he serves and the Christian imperative to "judge not" in his decision making.

A compelling read.
… (mer)
greeniezona | 5 andra recensioner | Jan 21, 2020 |
An amazing book. A must-read for anyone who wants to have an opinion on the choices people make about their own fertility, especially if they haven't directly worked with those people. I love this book.
g33kgrrl | 5 andra recensioner | Dec 31, 2018 |


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