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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Translated from the Japanese by Brett Iimura, Kaori Izumi, and Mayuko Kamata

Forward by Ina May Gaskin

“No matter how science has progressed, childbirth, in essence, has remained unchanged from ancient times . . . [It] is the last natural process left to us,” writes internationally lauded obstetrician Dr. Tadashi Yoshimura. “The fact that it has remained unchanged means that there is truth in it.”

The truth and power of birth is the subject of Dr. Yoshimura’s first book published in the United States. Yoshimura describes babies born so directly into the arms of their mothers that they do not cry, and women so transformed with pride and passion in their ability that they are joyous and forever changed. Instead of a medical emergency, Yoshimura describes birth as a transcendent and natural process that cannot be perfected, and that, when performed through the innate power of women, reveals what he calls a “mystic beauty.” Full of delightful stories of birthing women and peaceful smiling infants, and helpful tips from his childbirth preparation program, Joyous Childbirth Changes the World is a must-read for all expectant parents and those who care for them. Yoshimura’s clinic serves as a testament to the kind of compassionate birth culture that is possible if we prioritize the health and experience of women and babies. 

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Joyous Childbirth provides an insightful look at the secrets that giving birth holds, as told through the amazing story of one physician awakening to the 'Spark of Life!' Dr Yoshimura fills us with nurturing information that will guide you to claim your power, release fear, find joy, and birth yourself and your baby in love.”

Joyous Childbirth Changes the World is a masterpiece of truth and wisdom and hope. May its message transform the way we approach birth.”

“Dr. Yoshimura’s courage and vision in fashioning a clinic to meet the needs of women during pregnancy and birth have been remarkable, to say the least … So here, at last, is the story of how [he] reached a philosophy of birth that is in harmony with nature but accepts that modern technology, too, has an important place in optimal maternity care.”

blog — May 03

Required Reading: The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America

A letter from Robin Marty, activist and author of The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America, on the occasion of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to sign TX Senate Bill 4, in which abortion is criminalized after 6 weeks: 

According to a newly enacted Texas law, abortion is now essentially illegal in the state, and anyone who assists someone in getting one can be accused of “aiding and abetting.” Even worse, this law can be enforced by any random person claiming to know that this “crime” has occurred.
 
This is exactly the scenario we always feared: strangers deputized as an anti-abortion crime watch, creating a massive surveillance system to ensure every pregnant person gives birth to a live child — or goes to jail if they do not. Today, it’s Texas. Tomorrow it will be the next red state, and then the one after that.
 
Nothing has changed about the procedure or its safety — all that has changed is on August 31st, abortion was legal in Texas and today it is not. Does that seem like justice to you? If not, then grab a book and get ready to fight.

The end of Roe is coming. How will you prepare?

The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America is a comprehensive and user-friendly manual for understanding and preparing for the looming changes to reproductive rights law, and getting the health care you need — by any means necessary. Activist and writer Robin Marty guides readers through various worst-case scenarios of a post-Roe America, and offers ways to fight back, including: how to acquire financial support, how to use existing networks and create new ones, and how to, when required, work outside existing legal systems. She details how to plan for your own emergencies, how to start organizing now, what to know about self-managed abortion care with pills and/or herbs, and how to avoid surveillance. The only guidebook of its kind, The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America includes new chapters that cover the needs and tools available for pregnant people across the country.

This second edition features extensively updated information on abortion legality and access in the United States, and approximately one hundred pages of new content, covering such topics as independent alternatives to Planned Parenthood, "auntie networks," taxpayer-funded abortions, and using social media wisely in the age of surveillance.

Inextricably connected to issues of autonomy, privacy, and sexuality, the abortion debate remains home base for the culture wars in America. Yet, there is more common ground than meets the eye in favor of choice. Sarah Erdreich’s Generation Roe delves into phenomena such as "abortion-recovery counseling," "crisis pregnancy centers," and the infamous anti-choice "black children are an endangered species" billboards. It tells the stories of those who risk their lives to pursue careers in this stigmatized field. And it outlines the outrageous legislative battles that are being waged against abortion rights all over the country. With an inspiring spirit and a forward-looking approach, Erdreich holds abortion up, unabashedly, as a moral and fundamental human right. 

Now a major motion picture directed by Audrey Diwan

Translated by Tanya Leslie

In 1963, Annie Ernaux, 23 and unattached, realizes she is pregnant. Shame arises in her like a plague: Understanding that her pregnancy will mark her and her family as social failures, she knows she cannot keep that child.

This is the story, written forty years later, of a trauma Ernaux never overcame. In a France where abortion was illegal, she attempted, in vain, to self-administer the abortion with a knitting needle. Fearful and desperate, she finally located an abortionist, and ends up in a hospital emergency ward where she nearly dies.

In Happening, Ernaux sifts through her memories and her journal entries dating from those days. Clearly, cleanly, she gleans the meanings of her experience.

 Edited by Barbara Seaman and Laura Eldridge

Science journalist Barbara Seaman (1935-2008) spent the last forty years of her life on the front lines as a women's health advocate. Throughout her career, she was also a tireless supporter of other women's voices. Here she brings together an essential collection of essays, interviews, and commentary by leading activists, writers, doctors, and sociologists on topics ranging across reproductive rights, sex and orgasm, activism, motherhood and birth control. The more than two hundred contributors include Jennifer Baumgardner, Susan Brownmiller, Phyllis Chesler, Angela Davis, Barbara Ehrenreich, Germaine Greer, Shulamith Firestone, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Erica Jong, Molly Haskell, Shere Hite, Susie Orbach, Judith Rossner, Alix Kates Shulman, Gloria Steinem, Sojourner Truth, Rebecca Walker, Naomi Wolf, and many others.

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DR. TADASHI YOSHIMURA is a Japanese obstetrician and natural birth advocate. His maternity clinic in Okazaki, Japan, is known internationally for its incredibly positive birth outcomes including a 3.4% Cesarean rate, despite the clinic accepting many high-risk patients.

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Called "the mother of authentic midwifery," INA MAY GASKIN has practiced for nearly forty years at The Farm Midwifery Center, which is noted for its low rates of intervention, morbidity, and mortality. She is the only midwife for whom an obstetric maneuver has been named (the Gaskin maneuver) and she is the author of Joyous Childbirth Changes the World and Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta. She lives in Tennessee.