5 Novels That Educate Readers On Roe v. Wade

Roe v. Wade is one of the most controversial topics in American history. While the case involved one woman, the story of its landmark outcome affected everyone.

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Roe v. Wade is one of the most controversial topics in American history. The judgment of the case signifies a landmark ruling made by the Supreme Court that confirms the Constitution protects pregnant women’s rights to have an abortion without government interference. The decision was made almost fifty years ago, but rights regarding abortion care are still intensely debated today. Because women’s rights and abortion are taboo topics, it is understandable that many may not fully understand the happenings of the milestone case. To recognize such a monumental moment in US history, we gather a list of books to help educate us and our readers on the history of Roe v. Wade.

Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights by Karen Blumenthal


Blumenthal introduces teen readers to the landmark case in her young adult book that follows the timeline of Roe before, during, and after its impact on America. She plainly discusses the root causes of the case and the effects the outcome of the decision has made on families across the nation. The book is written from a journalistic standpoint to facilitate honest discussions about a topic that is rarely touched on in schools.

The Family Roe: An American Story by Joshua Prager


Over the years, the public knows a few facts about the woman behind the Roe judgment. What we rarely hear about is the impact the Supreme Court case had on her family—specifically, her now-adult daughters who were all placed for adoption upon birth. Prager also dives deeper into how the case affected and changed some of the key players involved, emphasizing that this issue is not just one of sex but also class and power.

I am Roe: My Life, Roe v. Wade, and Freedom of Choice by Norma McCorvey


Get to know the woman behind Roe v. Wade in the autobiography written by Jane Roe herself, Norma McCorvey. McCorvey’s story is one of circumstance: she just happened to not want to be pregnant when an attorney needed a woman who didn’t want to follow through with a pregnancy. Since the decision was made, McCorvey has appealed to both sides of the abortion debate, playing both hero and villain to a controversial topic that defined the rest of her life.

Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta Ross, and Elena Gutierrez


Before Norma McCorvey in the 1970s, women of color fought to protect their bodily autonomy in everyday life. Four female authors discuss how Latin, African, Asian, and Native American women have resisted government attempts to restrict female bodies. In a movement that is often depicted to be led by white, heterosexual women, these ladies discuss how racism and exclusivity drive the anti-choice movement and how women cannot have freedom for one without having freedom for all.

The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service by Laura Kaplan


Years before the outcome of Roe, women around America struggled to find comprehensive care regarding their reproductive health. This book highlights the ways in which women helped women when the government wouldn’t come to their aid. Kaplan dives into the mystery that is the organization referred to as “Jane” and the stories behind the everyday women who, by definition, became criminals.

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