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Caught in the Crossfire: A Year on Abortion’s Front Line

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that the Constitution protects the rights of American women to safe, legal abortions, millions of words have been written – and shouted – on the subject. But not until Caught in the Crossfire has anyone attempted to capture the full range of human drama unfolding at the heart of the abortion wars. Seasoned journalist Sue Hertz spent a year behind the scenes at New England’s largest abortion clinic, and in the streets around it, to write this gripping narrative. She cuts through the rhetoric and headlines of ordinary Americans who confront the abortion crisis every day. Here are clinic staffers who balance their commitments to their patients with the daily challenges of picketers and bomb threats, the police who must separate hostile protestors raging their rhetoric, and the patients themselves who must elbow their way through the throbbing mob to fulfill the most painful, solitary decision of their lives. A surprising twist is how hope and humor persist in this unlikely setting.

Caught in the Crossfire is as rich in character and conflict as a novel, and as timely as tomorrow’s headlines. It is a must-read for every American struggling with the complex and conflicting passions roused by abortion rights.

Selected Works

Yankee Magazine
Travel essay published in the anthology "Around the World."
How does one survive biking in Cambridge, the legendary English city of narrow, winding streets, congested traffic, bellowing drivers, and cows? Lots of cows.
Caught between caring for their parents and their own families, members of the sandwich generation struggle to cope with the many challenges of parenting a parent.
Can you be fit and fat? Contrary to common belief, yes you can.
Writer Sue Hertz explores a lifelong ambition – learning to sing on key. Can she? Will she?
With the help of an antiques dealer, nutritionist, and a medieval scholar, Carol Shea-Porter, who had never held public office, beat the Republican incumbent to represent her New Hampshire district in the U.S. Congress.
Remember the warmth, the closeness, the dailiness of the family meal? Neither do we. A Boston Magazine essay exploring the reasons behind the disappearing family dinner and the repercussions.
Hockey great Bobby Orr may have knees like no other, but that doesn't mean the rest of us haven't abused the joint beyond its intention.
Boston Globe Magazine cover story on the gentrification of this seaport city on the coast of New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Historical Society's regal home, one of the state's most renowned structures, celebrates its 100th birthday. The path to the creation of Concord's architectural gem was anything but smooth.
Book
Write Choices blasts through the boundaries between different forms of narrative nonfiction, focusing on the choices all writers of all forms make at every juncture, from choosing an idea, to collecting content, to creating a structure, to revising.
A powerful narrative illustrating the impact of abortion politics on women and health care workers.