In the Hands of Women
In the Hands of Women, a riveting historical suspense novel, centers on the life of Hannah Isaacson, an obstetrician in training, determined to improve medical safety for women in a time when women had few choices. This carefully researched work, set in Baltimore and New York City in the year 1900, when birth control and abortion were both illegal, leaves us contemplating whether history is repeating itself.
With the advent of obstetrics and anesthesia as distinct fields of practice at the turn of the twentieth century, hospital births rapidly gained popularity. Midwives, who previously cared for these women, began supplementing their shrinking incomes with abortions, sometimes performing dangerous midterm abortions with disastrous consequences.
Hannah, a devoted women’s advocate and suffragist, finds herself overwhelmed by the ignorance and medical needs of her patients, poor and wealthy. She is determined to make a difference and joins Margaret Sanger in her crusade to overturn the restrictive Comstock Laws prohibiting birth control. After coming to the aid of a woman dying from a butchered abortion, Hannah is charged with murder and sent to the terrifying Blackwell’s Prison to await her trial. With the support of influential friends, including the female trustees of Johns Hopkins Medical School, she challenges the Governor of New York with a novel proposition.
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