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Life's Work
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"Dr. Parker's story is a wonderful account of how his belief and faith in both God and in humanity has led him to provide abortion: a medical service that is chastised by some as the evil. He explains in the most compelling way how, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s telling of the story of the Good Samaritan, he has felt unable to turn away from women in need of help. Dr. Parker is a hero of our movement and, as a truly compassionate Christian advocate of women's choice. I challenge everyone who believes that abortion doctors must be 'bad' and immoral, or self-interested and profiteering, or privileged and exploitative, to read this book. Dr. Parker speaks from his heart and his words can't fail to touch the heart of every reader."--Ann Furedi, author of The Moral Case for Abortion and CEO of British Pregnancy Advisory Service. "[A] compelling memoir...a must-read for policymakers, reproductive-rights activists and anyone who's had trouble articulating their support for a woman's right to choose."--Ms. Magazine "[An] imperative memoir... Parker refuses to cede the moral ground, making an impassioned case - rooted in science, history, and theology - for the sanctity of a woman's autonomy over her own body."--O Magazine ..".the most crucial text we have on the subject of choice...read Dr. Parker's book cover to cover and then pass it on, so that we're all prepared for the next moral argument with grace and power."--Lena Dunham for Lenny Letter "Uniquely informed, extraordinarily empathic, and faith-deepened. At [the] crossroads, Parker determined that the truly Christian thing to do regarding unwanted pregnancy is to give women the help they need."--Booklist, STARRED review Parker writes from a place without judgment, and his voice resonates with compassion that is far too often lacking in discussions of abortion. A thought-provoking read of many sides of the issue.--Library Journal, Starred Review "Valuable as both moral testimonial and as a medical memoir and sure to inspire heat as well as light."--Kirkus Reviews "A bold stance on the moral imperative for safe and legal abortion."--Color Lines "His book provides the language [doctors have] been searching for."--Slate "Life's Work is a vivid and companionable memoir of a remarkable life."--The New Yorker "Dr. Willie Parker's compassion and respect for his patients, as well as his profound commitment to social justice, shine through this beautifully written memoir. This book puts to rest the notion that a deeply held religious faith is incompatible with a staunch support for legal and accessible abortion. Life's Work will be an eye-opener for those not familiar with the fortitude required to be an abortion provider in the contemporary United States, especially in the South. For those already committed to reproductive justice, Dr. Parker's account of his journey will serve as a much-needed source of renewed inspiration, as this beleaguered field faces new challenges in the Trump era."--Carole Joffe, author, Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients and the Rest of Us; professor, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco. "Dr. Willie Parker shares with readers in his powerful and insightful memoir, Life's Work, that "the abortion clinic is a woman's world." With keen insight and passion, he allows us to see that world through the eyes of a compassionate, caring male doctor--one who loves justice, who cares about female agency, who embraces gender equality, who believes women should have access to reproductive justice, and that includes abortion. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, this is a book that everyone should read. It offers us a clear and compassionate understanding of what all woman and girls face as we claim our right to make decisions about our bodies."--bell hooks, author of All About Love: New Visions and Feminism is for Everybody "It says something deep about Life's Work and its author, Dr. Willie Parker, that you learn first not about him, but the women he serves as patients. As a poor southern boy who became a great doctor, he shows us how race and sex bias limit and kill, how possible it is to undo that bias with kindness, and how Christianity might actually include women. I wish everyone in America would read this book."--Gloria Steinem "At Planned Parenthood, our motto is 'care, no matter what' -- words that might as well have been written with Dr. Willie Parker in mind. At a moment when reproductive health and rights are under attack like never before, Dr. Parker's book is a beacon of hope and a call to action. In it, he transcends politics and cliche to show readers the world through the eyes of a doctor who approaches his work with humility, compassion, and defiance. Life's Work is inspiring, surprising, and very much needed. This book will change lives." --Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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