You or Someone You Love: Reflections from an Abortion Doula (Paperback)
Named an ALA 2024 Feminist Rise Book Project Winner * Glamour Best Nonfiction Book of 2023 * theSkimm Favorite Book of Summer 2023 * NPR Science Friday Best Science Book of Summer 2023
An eye-opening, transformative, and actionable journey through radical and compassionate community abortion care and support work: what it looks like, how each and every one of us can practice and incorporate it into our daily lives, and what we can imagine and build together in a post-Roe v. Wade United States.
Abortion touches all of our lives. While statistically nearly everyone knows someone who will receive an abortion in their lifetime, limiting narratives flatten our understanding and assumptions around abortion, while stigma and criminalization stifle discussion. What we lack are the language and tools to provide care and support to all of the members of our communities who receive abortions, before, during, and after them.
Now, Hannah Matthews—abortion care worker, doula, journalist and essayist, and reproductive rights advocate—breathes depth and nuance into the oversimplified narratives surrounding abortion, presenting an accessible guide to the emotional and physical realities of providing and supporting abortion care for our own communities. Featuring stories of real abortion experiences, including Matthews’s own, You or Someone You Love offers a glimpse into the stunningly diverse landscape of abortion care across gender, race, and class lines, while illustrating how we can better support and protect the people who seek abortion in a country that increasingly promotes secrecy and shame.
About the Author
Hannah Matthews is an abortion doula and funder, clinic worker, hotline counselor, and writer. Her writing has appeared in Elle, Esquire, Teen Vogue, McSweeney’s, Time, and other publications. She lives in Maine with her family. More information can be found at HannahMatthews.me.
“Morally clear sighted, medically precise, and beautifully lyrical, this book is an accomplishment that belongs on the bookshelf of both the newest and the most seasoned advocates for bodily autonomy...Let Matthews teach you, invite you, and love you with this book.”
“[Matthews] substantially widens our ideas of what abortion does, can, and should look like. [Her] voice exudes knowledge and forgiveness, turning a controversial topic into something bordering on cozy…the narrative reflects a refreshing paradigm shift, providing a comprehensive view of abortion in modern America. A moving, timely vision of what abortion care could become in the U.S.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Hannah Matthews offers this fierce, beautiful, compassionate book, equal parts memoir and informative nonfiction….comforting readers and building trust with her brave, heartfelt, and gorgeous prose….Readers will leave with much knowledge—and a new role model and friend in Matthews.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Readers looking to support loved ones or offer themselves grace will find Matthews a wise guide.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A deeply compassionate book set across faiths, gender identity, circumstances, and race. Matthews has warmly reframed a stigmatized procedure as part of holistic healthcare with emotional nuance and reverence.”
— Koa Beck, author of White Feminism
“Hannah Matthews imbues You or Someone You Love with humanity and love—for herself, and for everyone we meet in its pages. Matthews has a keen eye trained on the structures and systems that make abortion so much harder than it has to be, and on the rhetoric that tries to flatten a complex and essential part of the human experience. Reading it, I felt so cared for as a mother, a woman, and a person.”
— Meaghan O’Connell, author of And Now We Have Everything and Editor at Romper
“You or Someone You Love sings with abundant empathy, generosity, and lyrical prose—I couldn't put it down. It changed how I see not just abortion but everything about how we care for the people we love, for strangers, for our communities. It expanded my heart and my sense of the possibilities of the world, not only through Matthews' knowledge and experience, but through the beauty she's packed into these pages. This is a book full of tenderness, anger, humor, hope, sadness, and delight, a vital and enlivening read.”
— Jaime Green, author of The Possibility of Life
“You or Someone You Love is a love letter and a balm. It is the book I wish I had in my hands when I was a scared young woman making a decision about my reproductive health--a voice of compassion, understanding, empathy, and empowerment--when the voices surrounding abortion were so condemning. Hannah Matthews is a light worker and a gorgeous writer, and this book is truly a gift. From it I am in awe, full of gratitude and hope.”
— Mira Ptacin, author of Poor Your Soul and The In-Betweens: The Spiritualists, Mediums, and Legends of Camp Etna
“You or Someone You Love is soulful, thoughtful, and profound—a gift to read. The combination of Matthews' personal reflections and gorgeous writing interwoven with heartfelt and urgent conversations and interviews renders this book a guide, a balm, a treasure. I'll return to it many times over.”
— Rainesford Stauffer, author of An Ordinary Age and All the Gold Stars