Feminist, counselor and author Linda Weber will be at Bloomsbury Books March 10 to talk about her recently released book, "Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion."

Feminist, counselor and author Linda Weber will be at Bloomsbury Books March 10 to talk about her recently released book, "Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion."

In the book, she offers a new layer of discussion on a divisive topic, exploring its historical context and spiritual essence. Because it has been the subject of fierce debate for so many years, I thought abortion already had been examined from every conceivable angle, but Weber manages to write from a unique viewpoint.

I had a chance to speak briefly with Weber about her book. She says both the choice and the act of abortion offer lessons for men and women about the importance of making conscious choices in life.

"I think abortion is pro-life, death is part of life, and negotiating the flow of life and death is something that women have done throughout history," she said.

This is a topic she will also address in her talk at Bloomsbury. "I want to emphasize the interconnectedness we all have with one another, with nature and life and death," she said.

"Life Choices" definitely fits into a new-age, spiritual category of books. It's an area I'm not very familiar with, and I was a little baffled by one section in which she envisions a time when women, through a greater spiritual connection with the world and within themselves, can will themselves not to conceive. However, I also was riveted by her passages on history and by many of the true-life stories included in the book.

"Over the 20 years I was counseling women, I heard a lot of stories and a lot of experiences," she said. "That is what inspired this book."

Weber's discussion of the pro-choice movement and the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is interesting, mainly because she was there. As one of the country's first abortion counselors, Weber helped to start a nonprofit women's health clinic in Boulder, Colo., in 1973. She later received the Veteran Feminists of America medal, which recognizes women who were active in the women's liberation movement between 1963 and 1975. She credits her work with giving her unique insights into the human aspects of the abortion debate.

"I have a perspective about history. I'd seen this illegal medical procedure rise to the surface of legality, always there was a big fuss. Counseling so many women, I realized there was a spiritual component left out of the discussions," she said.

"Life Choices" is a small book with a lot to say. The transitions from topic to topic are fast and at times confusing, but there are real gems of insight buried in the pages. The book skips around like a lively conversation, with sub-chapters such as "The Rise of Patriarchy" right next to "The Great Goddess."

Weber says she wrote the book for all women, but particularly for women who have had abortions or who are considering an abortion.

"It's a complicated choice and it's never the same for any one woman. We need to make conscious choices in regard to our lives," she said.

The end of the book offers some advice to help women who have made the decision to have an abortion, including practical questions to ask a doctor and ways to deal with the complicated feelings that follow.

Some readers may disagree with Weber's position on abortion, and some may be skeptical of her new-age philosophy. Still, the book has an interesting thesis that lends itself to expanding the conversation about this controversial issue and what it means in a wider context. In that regard, it is less about the issue of abortion and more about human life and our place in the natural world.

Weber will read and talk about her book at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at Bloomsbury Books, 290 E. Main St. For more information, visit www.BloomsburyAshland.com or call 541-488-0029.

Angela Decker is a freelance writer in Ashland and can be reached at decker4@gmail.com.