Won't Back Down Review

By | Monday, January 22, 2024 Leave a Comment
Won't Back Down is a new comics anthology edited by Trina Robbins, who's been advocating for equal rights for and treatment of women for half a century, with one of her early notable professional achievements was publishing the first comic book entirely produced by women, It Ain't Me, Babe Comix, in 1970. I won't give you her full background to try to credential her here; if you don't know Robbins or her work, Wikipedia has decent overview. With Won't Back Down, Robbins has gathered a few dozen comic creators together to tell stories advocating for pro-choice.

In 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade (1973), which guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion. They decided that it should be a states' rights issue and immediately any number of state laws went back into effect, limiting or outright banning abortions under any circumstances. Thousands of women no longer have access to abortions; even in states where it's not banned entirely, it's so restricted that doctors are refusing to perform them at all for fear of the potential legal repercussions. This was massive step backwards in human rights, forcing women into often dangerous -- even life-threatening -- situations because six radically conservative justices think that women are useless unless they're bearing children.

Won't Back Down is a response to that. It's people telling stories about how their lives were saved because of an abortion. Stories about how their parents' or grandparents' lives were made measurably worse by not have access to abortions. Stories about fear and anger. Stories about grief. Like any anthology, some stories are better than others. Some stories connect better than others. Some stories are more abstract than others. But unifying all of them is that these are stories from people who are saying, "THE SUPREME COURT IS WRONG!"

The project was originally crowd-funded last spring. The people who backed that project (including me) are listed in the book, and I'm 100% certain that none of the stories changed their minds on anything because they are all 100% bought into the idea that access to abortions and abortion care should be legal at least at the federal level, if not internationally. And now that the book is out, I suspect most of the people who will buy it are probably pretty on board with that message as well. And I suspect none of the stories included in here would sway any radical conservatives like those who struck down Roe v Wade.

But one of these stories might persuade someone who's on the fence about the issue. Or think it's not really that important. They might see themselves or a friend or a relative in one of the stories, and get shown a perspective that they hadn't really thought about or considered. That's one of the benefits of doing this as an anthology. Go buy a couple copies; one to loan out and one to conspicuously leave on your coffee table the next time you have someone stop by. It was published by Last Gasp in December and retails for $25 US.
Newer Post Older Post Home