So my interview with Beth Kohl is up on Salon, right here.
The book is awesome. As far as I know (one try at pregnancy, one kid), I'm a Fertile Myrtle, but I found the book hard to put down. For one, Beth is a terrific writer, both funny and thoughtful. For two, the whole world of IVF is well (and empathetically) researched. And for three, I love a book that both has a narrative thread and a facts to take in--the best of both worlds.
EC also made me squirmy in parts. Specifically, the part when she starts talking about when life begins, how embryos should be treated, all that. I am, as you may know, a person who pledges money to Planned Parenthood for every picketer they get; the cash supports the Women in Need fund. (Good deeds by the vengeful!) You know the pro-choice spiel. So does Beth. And in fact, we both believe in it.
I think what made me squirmy was her voicing in public what a lot of us feel: Abortion, whether in terms of an unplanned pregnancy or selective reduction, can be a complicated emotional package. For some of us, there will be sadness at the potential lost, sadness that coexists with knowing that the abortion was the best choice. For some of us, there will be a lot of hand-wringing.
What made me squirmy is that knowing that there are people who will take this private moment and use it for evil, whether it's to further erode Roe V. Wade, or to come up with some bogus study that finds that women who've had abortions are irreparably damaged, or even to point to a woman after the fact and use her complicated emotions to convince her that what she did was wrong. It's hard to be vulnerable in a politicized context. (How's that for a women's studies sentence?)
But, really, those people are out there anyway, and in the end, Beth's honesty shouldn't be kept under a bushel.
And I just did what I told myself not to do, which is let the abortion issue highjack her lovely story about God, baby-making, and the test tube. Oh, here, ladies, lovers of the truth--buy the book. You'll like.