Beggars and choosers : how the politics of choice shapes adoption, abortion, and welfare in the United States

Solinger, Rickie, 1947-

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  • Creator Rickie Solinger
  • Format Books
  • Publication First edition. New York : Hill and Wang, 2001.
  • Physical Details
    • xi, 290 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9780809097029, 0809097028
  • OCLC ocm45757743


  • "In the late 1960s and early 1970s, advocates of legal abortion mostly used the term rights when describing their agenda. But after Roe v. Wade, their determination to develop a respectable, nonconfrontational movement encouraged many of them to use the word choice - an easier concept for people weary of rights movements. At first the distinction in language didn't make much difference, because the law seemed to guarantee both. But in the years since, the change has become enormously important." "In Beggars and Choosers, Rickie Solinger shows that historical distinctions between women of color and white women, between poor and middle-class women, persisted and were used in new ways during the era of "choice." Politicians and policy makers excluded certain women from the class of "deserving mothers" by using the language of choice to create public policies concerning everything from Medicaid funding for abortions to family tax credits, infertility treatments, international adoption, teen pregnancy, and welfare. Solinger argues that a guarantee of "choice," when the word is imbued with the old prejudices of class and race, is a shaky foundation on which to build our concept of reproductive freedom."--BOOK JACKET.


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages [225]-283) and index.


  • 1. Choice Is a Moving Target -- 2. Justifying Choice: The Back Alley Butcher as Spectral Icon -- 3. Claiming Rights in the Era of Choice: Part I: Awakenings -- 4. Claiming Rights in the Era of Choice: Part II: Concerned United Birthparents -- 5. Constraining Choice: Welfare Queens as Illegitimate Consumers -- 6. Motherhood as Class Privilege in America: A Public Policy Project
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