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You're the Only One I've Told: The Stories Behind Abortion (Hardcover)
"Moving, multifaceted, and deeply human...as eye-opening as it is compelling” —Cecile Richards, author of Make Trouble
At a time where reproductive rights are at risk, these vital stories of diverse individuals serve as a reminder of the importance of empathy, finding community and motivating advocacy
For a long time, when people asked Dr. Meera Shah, Chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, what she did, she would tell them she was a doctor and leave it at that. But when she started to be direct about her work as an abortion provider an interesting thing started to happen: one by one, people would confide that they'd had an abortion themselves. The refrain was often the same: You're the only one I've told.
This book collects these stories as they've been told to Shah to humanize abortion and to combat myths that persist in the discourse that surrounds it. A 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 the power to break down stigmas and help us to empathize with those whose experiences are unlike our own.
A portion of proceeds will be donated to promote reproductive health access.
About the Author
Dr. Meera Shah is a family medicine physician currently serving as the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic in New York. Shah is a strong advocate for increasing sexual and reproductive health access in underserved areas and to underserved communities. A Fellow with the Physicians for Reproductive Health, Shah is dedicated to calling out the injustices that keep people from exercising their autonomy. In 2018, she was awarded Woman of Distinction by New York State Senator Brad Hoylman.
“These moving stories, taken together, sharply reveal the connections among ‘reproductive justice, gender justice, racial justice, and economic justice.' A strong contribution to discussions of reproductive rights.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Shah places a wide range of engrossing abortion stories in their social, legal, and political contexts and spotlights the unjust toll restrictions on abortion access inflict. Her much-needed reproductive justice lens shows that abortion is . . . absolutely essential to ensuring freedom and equality. " —Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body
“I learned something I didn’t know about abortion in every chapter of this book. Deeply thankful for this resource.” —Alex, Goodreads
"A clear-eyed and shame-free examination from a doctor on the frontlines, You're the Only One I've Told is the book the feminist movement has been waiting for. Everyone should read it." —Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object
"Readers who have felt isolated or stigmatized in talking about their own abortions will find stories that resonate, while others will have their concept of who seeks an abortion broadened. This is a moving and deeply informed argument for abortion as a human right." —Publishers Weekly
“I fell in love with the humans and their stories. I feel like this should be required reading in school. It’s compassion training 101 and important right now more than ever.” —Claire, Goodreads
“The courage and honesty in the writing of Dr. Meera Shah paints the clearest of pictures: abortion isn’t a political tool. It is health care. Personal, moving and necessary—truly a must read.” —Alyssa Mastromonaco, New York Times bestselling author and cohost of Crooked Media’s #Hysteria podcast
"Shah places each person’s experiences into a larger discussion about attacks on abortion services, and the disinformation that comes with them. An important addition to the field of reproductive justice." —Booklist
“Shah has done a masterful job of weaving real-life stories of abortion with the latest triumphs, struggles, and defeats of the pro-choice battle. She reminds us that there are real people behind these stories, not just politics, and that each story is unique.” —Keith, Goodreads
"Through these compelling stories, Dr. Shah reveals . . ., as my research has confirmed, that people make the decision to end a pregnancy balancing their own responsibilities and visions for the future." —Diana Greene Foster, PhD, author of The Turnaway Study