Acclaimed Author of The Girls Who Went Away, Ann Fessler, to Kick Off NARAL Speakers Series

For More Information Contact:

Pamela Sumners at 314-531-8616


What: A lecture by Ann Fessler, Author of The Girls Who Went Away

When: Tuesday, March 24 7:00-8:00pm (Q&A to follow)

Where: Central Reform Congregation

5020 Waterman Blvd (at Kingshighway)

St Louis, MO 63108 // 314.531.8616


As a part of its ongoing 40th Anniversary Celebration, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is proud to present the first lecture in its Speakers Series, acclaimed author Ann Fessler.  Fessler will be discussing The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden Story of Women Who Surrendered Their Children in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade at St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation at 7 p.m. March 24.  The New York Times hails Fessler’s work as “remarkably well researched and accomplished,” and the Chicago Tribune calls it “a wrenching, riveting book.”

The Girls Who Went Away details the personal histories of women and teens forced to give up their children in an era when unwed motherhood was cause for expulsion from school, family and society.  While the conventional wisdom told women to “give up” their children and “move on,” Fessler tells of young mothers who lost their children to coercive adoptions and struggled to recover.

Interwoven in this account of the 1.5 million women who gave up their children  between World War II and the landmark 1973 Roe decision is Fessler’s own story.  A child adopted in the 1960s, Fessler recounts her search for her birth mother and the forces that led her mother to give Fessler up for adoption.

“We spend so much time talking about a woman’s right to choose, and we should also remember that another aspect of reproductive justice is to have one’s choice to keep one’s child respected,” says Pamela Sumners, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.  “We are proud to present Professor Fessler as part of our 40th year of fighting for women’s rights.”

Ms. Fessler will be available for media interviews.