Book Review: Intimate Wars

Intimate Wars

By Merle Hoffman


Merle Hoffman’s career as an abortion rights pioneer began with a part-time job as a medical assistant for a Queens family practice. Two years before Roe v. Wade, her doctor boss (whom she later married) founded one of New York City’s first abortion clinics, installing Hoffman, then 25, as its de facto manager. Thus began her life as an activist. “The act of choosing whether or not to have a child is often an act of love, and always an act of survival,” she writes. Ultimately, Intimate Wars is as much about her personal journey as it is a snapshot of how the 39 years since Roe have affected one clinic.