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Writers Bloc Presents Dr. Diana Greene Foster and Dr. Meera Shah

Dr. Diana Greene Foster author photo THE TURNAWAY STUDY cover art


Writers Bloc Presents® is a nonprofit organization specializing in presentations focusing on  literary and cultural work, thoughts and ideas as represented in and by modern works of fiction and nonfiction.

What is the impact on a woman when she has an abortion? What are the consequences when she is denied an abortion? UCSF Professor Diana Greene Foster researched this issue over ten years with a thousand women. In The Turnaway Study she explores the psychological, financial, physical, and family consequences of their actions. In interviews with women who have had, or been denied, abortions, Foster covers territory that women must consider, such as caring for children they already have, religious/social implications, physical ramifications of childbearing vs. abortion, economic security, the chance to have children later, and so much more. Foster’s chapters are compelling and urgent, because they are based on very real women who have shared their stories.

In conversation with Dr. Meera Shah. Dr. Shah is Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, and is an abortion provider. She is the author of the new book, You’re the Only One I’ve Told: the Stories Behind Abortion.

Writers Bloc thanks Planned Parenthood for their assistance with this program.

Register for this event here.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 5:00pm
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982141561
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 2nd, 2020

“If you read only one book about democracy, The Turnaway Study should be it. Why? Because without the power to make decisions about our own bodies, there is no democracy." —Gloria Steinem

“Dr. Diana Greene Foster brings what is too often missing from the public debate around abortion: science, data, and the real-life experiences of people from diverse backgrounds…This should be required reading for every judge, member of Congress, and candidate for office—as well as anyone who hopes to better understand this complex and important issue.” —Cecile Richards, cofounder of Supermajority, former president of Planned Parenthood, and author of Make Trouble

A groundbreaking and illuminating look at the state of abortion access in America and the first long-term study of the consequences—emotional, physical, financial, professional, personal, and psychological—of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s lives.

What happens when a woman seeking an abortion is turned away? Diana Greene Foster, PhD, decided to find out. With a team of scientists—psychologists, epidemiologists, demographers, nursing scholars, and public health researchers—she set out to discover the effect of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s lives. Over the course of a ten-year investigation that began in 2007, she and her team followed a thousand women from more than twenty states, some of whom received their abortions, some of whom were turned away.

Now, for the first time, the results of this landmark study—the largest of its kind to examine women’s experiences with abortion and unwanted pregnancy in the United States—have been gathered together in one place. Here Foster presents the emotional, physical, and socioeconomic outcomes for women who received their abortion and those who were denied. She analyzes the impact on their mental and physical health, their careers, their romantic lives, their professional aspirations, and even their existing and future children—and finds that women who received an abortion were almost always better off than women who were denied one. Interwoven with these findings are ten riveting first-person narratives by women who share their candid stories.

As the debate about abortion rights intensifies, The Turnaway Study offers an in-depth examination of the real-world consequences for women of being denied abortions and provides evidence to refute the claim that abortion harms women. With brilliant synthesis and startling statistics—that thousands of American women are unable to access abortions; that 99% of women who receive an abortion do not regret it five years later—The Turnaway Study is a necessary and revelatory look at the impact of abortion access on people’s lives.

You're the Only One I've Told: The Stories Behind Abortion Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641603638
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chicago Review Press - September 1st, 2020

For a long time, when people asked Dr. Meera Shah what she did, she would tell them she was a doctor and leave it at that. But over the last few years, Shah decided it was time to be direct. “I’m an abortion provider,” she will now say. And an interesting thing started to happen each time she met someone new. One by one, people would confide—at barbecues, at jury duty, in the middle of the greeting card aisle at Target—that in fact they’d had an abortion themselves. And the refrain was often the same: You’re the only one I’ve told. This book collects those stories as they’ve been told to Shah to humanize abortion and to combat myths that persist in the discourse that surrounds it. An intentionally wide range of ages, races, socioeconomic factors, and experiences shows that abortion always occurs in a unique context. Today, a healthcare issue that’s so precious and foundational to reproductive, social,  and economic freedom for millions of people is exploited by politicians who lack understanding or compassion about the context in which abortion occurs. Stories have power to break down stigmas and help us to empathize with those whose experiences are unlike our own. They can also help us find community and a shared sense of camaraderie over experiences just like ours. You’re the Only One I’ve Told will do both.