BOOKS: WOMAN'S WAR

A MEMOIR OF A LIFELONG FIGHT FOR ABORTION RIGHTS

At a political moment when waffling can be a shrewd move and compromise has become the order of the day, Faye Wattleton seems almost a relic. The telegenic and controversial head of Planned Parenthood from 1978 to 1992, Wattleton winces at phrases like "common ground" when applied to the subject of reproductive rights for women. For Wattleton, whose mother was a traveling Fundamentalist preacher for the Church of God, right and wrong--like heaven and hell--are very clearly defined.

Wattleton's personal story, recounted in this new memoir, Life on the Line (Ballantine; 489 pages; $25), provides her with a tidy opportunity to...

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