Abortion Rights are Human Rights

Abortion rights are human rights, and these books speak to the past, present, and future of abortion in Canada.

All Books in this Collection

Showing all 8 results

  • Abortion to Abolition

    Abortion to Abolition


    The history of abortion decriminalization and critical advocacy efforts to improve access in Canada deserve to be better known. Ordinary people persevered to make Canada the most progressive country in the world with respect to abortion care. But while abortion access is poorly understood, so too are the persistent threats to reproductive justice in this country: sexual violence, gun violence, homophobia and transphobia, criminalization of sex work, reproductive oppression of Indigenous women and girls, privatization of fertility health services, and the racism and colonialism of policing and the prison system. This beautifully illustrated book tells the empowering true stories behind the struggles for reproductive justice in Canada, celebrating past wins and revealing how prison abolitionism is key to the path forward.

  • Deep Salt Water

    Deep Salt Water


    Deep Salt Water is a stirring memoir about loss and abortion, expressed through the layering of imagery from the ocean. In detail at once sensual and sophisticated, Apostolides unfurls the emotional experience of a love affair and unwanted pregnancy, the abortion itself, and her reconnection with the man seventeen years later–a rekindling of love which stimulates this gentle attempt to come to terms with the abortion and its consequences. Moving from a place of intense intimacy to an outward focus that engages with the broader world, Deep Salt Water discusses abortion in all its complexity, rejecting polarizing rhetoric in favour of the unfathomable truths that women hold in their bodies.

    With 9 full colour plates of mixed media collage by Catherine Mellinger.

  • Middenrammers



    Middenrammers is a brave and provocative novel about one doctor’s battle for social justice in a small-town hospital. Set in the UK in the 1970s, the story follows young Dr. Brian Davis’ efforts to adjust to his new job in a Yorkshire fishing town. The town’s only hospital permits no contraceptive advice, or abortions. Dr. Davis and Woodie — the midwife he falls in love with — regularly come face to face with the terrible repercussions of these policies. Because they refuse to accept the attitude of the hospital administrators— who believe that the right thing to do is to restrict choice and deny reproductive options — the course of their lives is changed as much as those of the patients.

    Told in graphic detail, the novel drives home the link between reproductive rights and social justice, while reminding us that a few decent people can make a world of difference.

  • Night Ambulance

    Night Ambulance


    Following an awkward sexual encounter under a wharf in outport Newfoundland, sixteen-year-old Rowena Savoury travels to St. John’s for a secret abortion. But in the early 1970s, the procedure is illegal, and after complications, Rowena finds herself in a hospital being questioned by a young constable who is uncertain of how to proceed. Though she doesn’t know it, Rowena’s decision will ripple through the lives of an entire cast of characters. Patient and luminous, Night Ambulance is the story of a place on the cusp of change, where characters stand between coercive societal expectations and the right to decide their own fates.

  • The M Word

    The M Word


    A CNQ Editors’ Book of the Year

    A Dropped Threads-style anthology, assembling original and inspiring works by some of Canada’s best younger female writers — such as Heather Birrell, Saleema Nawaz, Susan Olding, Diana Fitzgerald Bryden, Carrie Snyder, and Alison Pick — The M Word asks everyday women and writers, some of whom are on the unconventional side of motherhood, to share their emotions and tales of maternity.

    Whether they are stepmothers or mothers who have experienced abortion, infertility, adoption, or struggles with having more or less children, all these writers are women who have faced down motherhood on the other side of the white picket fence. It is time that motherhood opened its gates to include everyone, not just the picture postcard stories.

    The M Word is a fabulous collection by a talented author and blogger, which is bound to attract readers from all walks of motherhood. The anthology that presents women’s lives as they are really lived, probing the intractable connections between motherhood and womanhood with all necessary complexity and contradiction laid out in a glorious tangle.

    It is a book whose contents themselves are in disagreement, essays rubbing up against one another in uncomfortable ways. There is no synthesis — is motherhood an expansive enterprise, or is motherhood a trap? — except perhaps a general sense that being a mother and not being a mother are each as terrible and wonderful as being alive is. What these essays do show, however, is that in this age of supposed reproductive choice, so many women still don’t have the luxury of choosing their mothering story or how it will play out. And those who do exercise choice often still end up contending with judgement or backlash.

    The essays also make clear that women are not as divided between the mothers and the childless as we might be led to believe. Women’s lives are so much more complicated than that. There is mutual ground between the woman who decided to have no more children and the woman who decided to have none at all. A woman with no children also endures a similar kind of scrutiny as the woman who’s had many, both of them operating outside of societal norms. A woman who has miscarried longs to be acknowledged for her own beyond-visible mothering experiences, for the baby she held inside her. And while infertility is its own kind of journey, that journey is also just one of so many whose origins lie with the desire for a child.

  • The Supine Cobbler

    The Supine Cobbler


    A contemporary clinical abortion in the spirit of a Western.

    The Doctor introduces the gang: The Supine Cobbler (wanted), her estranged sister (dead by hanging), her former best friend (missing, presumed dead) and her apprentice (a turncoat). Together they negotiate integrity in a lawless world. The Supine Cobbler is an unsentimental legend and a true story. It is a hero myth for girls.

    Praisefor the productions of The Supine Cobbler:

    ‘The show is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.’

    Theatre Reader

    ‘Jill Connell … is consistently one of the most innovative playwrights in the country.’

    Vue Weekly

    The Supine Cobbler is brilliant, subversive and deeply hilarious. The play is about an abortion – but also: waiting, haunting, cheating, hurting, daring and the private cultivation of one’s humanity. It is singular and surprising and epic and lean as Bowie. You cannot help but talk about this play. It is the work of a lover and a rebel. To miss it, would be to miss a master in her early bloom.’

    – Claudia Dey, author of Trout Stanley and Stunt

    ‘I love this absolutely idiosyncratic play. It’s very funny, moving and sharp, and the only work of art about abortion I can think of that doesn’t sentimentalize or simplify the experience, but gets the strangeness and banality of it exactly right.’

    – Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?

  • We, Jane

    We, Jane


    Shortlisted for the 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award
    Longlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize
    Shortlisted for the 2021 BMO Winterset Award
    Shortlisted for the 2021 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction
    Shortlisted for the 2021 Concordia University First Book Prize
    Shortlisted for the 2022 ReLit Award for Fiction

    A remarkable debut about intergenerational female relationships and resistance found in the unlikeliest of places, We, Jane explores the precarity of rural existence and the essential nature of abortion.

    Searching for meaning in her Montreal life, Marthe begins an intense friendship with an older woman, also from Newfoundland, who tells her a story about purpose, about a duty to fulfill. It’s back home, and it goes by the name of Jane.

    Marthe travels back to a small community on the island with the older woman to continue the work of an underground movement in 60s Chicago: abortion services performed by women, always referred to as Jane. She commits to learning how to continue this legacy and protect such essential knowledge. But the nobility of her task and the reality of small-town life compete, and personal fractures within their group begin to grow.

    We, Jane probes the importance of care work by women for women, underscores the complexity of relationships in close circles, and beautifully captures the inevitable heartache of understanding home.

  • What Happened to Tom

    What Happened to Tom


    Inspired by Judith Jarvis Thomson’s philosophical thought experiment “The Violinist,” What Happened to Tom?? is a psychological and philosophical thriller, a horror story that any one of millions of people could, at any moment, experience. Tom, like many men, assumes that since pregnancy is a natural part of being a woman, it’s no big deal: a woman finds herself pregnant, she does or does not go through with it, end of story. But then Tom wakes up to find his body’s been hijacked and turned into a human kidney dialysis machine. For nine months he has to stay connected to Simon, a famous violinist, or Simon will die. Tom finds he is powerless to take legal or medical action to deal with the situation. He loses his girlfriend, his car, his apartment, and eventually his job as an architect. At the end of the novel, he has lost almost everything he holds dear and his life is completely, and irrevocably, derailed, and entwined with that of a violinist who no longer wants to work. Considering this situation analogous to an unwanted pregnancy, What Happened to Tom? is ultimately a feminist allegory about women’s reproductive rights.