Carmel’s Cautionary Tale for Post-Roe America

Poet Nora May French’s Account of Her 1907 Abortion Is an Infuriating Read—and a Sobering Reminder of What History Omits

I am no longer able to think of Carmel without thinking of abortion and Nora May French.

For this new habit of mind, I blame two things: the U.S. Supreme Court, and the literary scholar Catherine Prendergast’s searing 2021 masterpiece, The Gilded Edge: Two Audacious Women and the Cyanide Love Triangle That Shook America.

From visiting Carmel, I had heard all about Carmel’s early 20th-century history as a colony of artists and bohemians. But I had never heard of the poet French, or understood how much the popular history of Carmel left …

How My Republican Grandfather Helped Legalize Abortion

In Colorado, Mid-Century Environmentalists Were ‘Uneasy Allies’ in the Fight for Reproductive Rights

In winter 1967, a young Democratic state representative named Richard Lamm introduced an abortion liberalization bill in Colorado’s House of Representatives. The bill passed quickly and moved onto the Senate, …

Miscarriage Wasn’t Always a Tragedy or a Crime

How Race, Medicine, and the Law Shape Reactions to Pregnancy Loss

In the fall of 2012, I woke up early in the morning with cramps. I went to the bathroom and saw blood on my underwear. I was nine weeks pregnant, …

When California Sterilized 20,000 of Its Citizens

The Golden State Was the Most Aggressive in the Country in Deeming the ‘Feebleminded’ and ‘Deviant’ Unfit to Reproduce

Not too long ago, more than 60,000 people were sterilized in the United States based on eugenic laws. Most of these operations were performed before the 1960s in institutions for …