Online Video, Book Talk     

Making the Political Personal: How Anti-Abortion Advocates in the West Laid the Groundwork to Overturn Roe v. Wade

The highly unusual leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health makes clear that the court is almost certain to overturn the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, which ensured national access to abortion.

Event Type: Online Video, Book TalkAudience(s): Researchers

Historian Jennifer Holland’s book, Tiny You: A Western History of the Anti-Abortion Movement, explains how social conservatives remade the opinions of many white religious people at the end of the twentieth century and how that cultural work, in turn, changed the partisan politics of much of the American West. Examining the anti-abortion movements in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah, Tiny You argues that activists made the political personal to many white Americans. By the 1980s and 1990s, they made the fetus central to how many conservatives, and many Americans, thought of being a woman, a child, a Christian, and a member of a family.

Jennifer Holland is an associate professor of U.S. history at the University of Oklahoma, specializing in histories of gender, sexuality, and race in the twentieth-century North American West. She is also a core affiliate member of the Women’s and Gender Studies department. Her teaching and research interests include gender and women in the American West; LGBTQ history, sexuality, and reproduction; the Sunbelt; the U.S. after 1945; conservative and right-wing social movements; race and indigeneity; and Indian Territory and Oklahoma. She is the book review editor for the Journal of Women’s History and the director of the Summer Institute for Teachers of Oklahoma History. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. from Utah State University, where she served as an editorial fellow for the Western Historical Quarterly. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan. Her book Tiny You is the winner of the Caroline Bancroft History Prize 2021, Denver Public Library; Armitage-Jameson Prize 2021, Coalition of Western Women's History; David J. Weber Prize 2021, Western History Association; and the W. Turrentine Jackson Prize 2021, Western History Association.

Jennifer Holland