by Lauren Rankin
A powerfully empathetic and impeccably researched look at abortion clinic escorting, which Rebecca Traister (New York Times bestselling author of Good and Mad) calls "one of the most under-covered and crucial, lifesaving, rigorous forms of activism out there.
Abortion has been legal for nearly fifty years in the United States, but with a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court and an emboldened opposition in the street, the threat to its existence has never been more pressing. Clinic escorts -- everyday volunteers -- are prepared to stand up and protect abortion access, as they have for decades, even in the face of terrorism and violence. They have lived, and sometimes died, to ensure that abortion remains not only accessible but also a basic human right. Clinic escorts have fought the "abortion wars" on the front lines, and it is clinic escorts who will win it, by replacing hostility with humanity.
Collecting the stories of these brave volunteers from around the country -- including the author's own -- interviews with clinic staff and patients, and research and input from abortion rights experts, Bodies on the Line makes a clear case for the right to an abortion as a fundamental part of human dignity, and the stakes facing us all if it ends. Bodies on the Line is a celebration of the crucial, often unsung heroes of abortion access and an inspiring call to defend this basic health care before it's too late.
"Lauren Rankin has written a testament to the humanity that is central to the procedure, and the act, of abortion. She has walked the walk, and shared with other dedicated clinic escorts the fear and the dehumanization, and the threats, that patients face every time they walk into a clinic to receive basic health care. Here, directly from the front lines, are unique and untold stories that broaden our understanding of what it takes today for people to get the care they deserve, what we stand to lose when they can't, and what we need to do if we're to see our right to bodily autonomy fully realized. Bodies on the Line is an essential read for this moment of crisis." -- Martha Plimpton, actor, activist, and cofounder of A is For
"Bodies on the Line tells the story of the unsung heroes who have done so much to help women exercise their reproductive rights -- clinic escorts. Who they are, why they're there, and what they have endured is mind-boggling, frustrating, and ultimately inspiring. Americans owe a debt to these volunteer activists who literally put their bodies on the line for those rights." -- Elisa Camahort Page, co-author, Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All
About the Author:
Lauren Rankin is a writer, speaker, and expert in abortion rights in the U.S. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Cut, Fast Company, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, NBC News, and many more. She spent six years as an abortion clinic escort in northern New Jersey, and is a board member of "A is For," a reproductive rights advocacy organization.