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Reproductive Rites: The Real-Life Witches and Witch Hunts in the Centuries-Long Fight for Abortion

Sophie Saint Thomas

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Witchcraft, Feminism & feminist theory, Ethical issues: abortion & birth control, Witchcraft & Wicca

A work of reported history and commentary, told in a lively voice, about the many ways witches and witchcraft have been woven through the history of abortion access and reproductive justice, from the days of Socrates through Salem and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, all the way to our fraught post-Roe present.

A provocative exploration of the witches-and witch hunts-in the untold history of abortion, from the days of Socrates through the Salem Witch Trials and the 1980s Satanic Panic, all the way to our fraught post-Roe present, from journalist Sophie Saint Thomas.

For millennia, across cultures and continents, women and people who experience pregnancy, as well as midwives and those who assist them, have been persecuted as witches (whether they actually practiced the craft or not). In this dauntless, voice-driven reassessment of that history, journalist Sophie Saint Thomas follows the tangled threads of witches and reproductive rights through the ages.

Through it all, she maintains an intersectional eye toward the communities most affected by reproductive oppression (including Native Americans, enslaved Black women, and trans people) and a scathing exposure of the hypocrisy of anti-choice crusaders (from the eugenicist Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey to the astrology-loving Republican Nancy Reagan). With heart, humor, and deeply researched insights, Reproductive Rites brings a new level of context to the urgency of our present moment as we fight for our rights in a post-Roe v. Wade America.

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