The Lie that Binds - Paperback

The Lie that Binds - Paperback

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The Lie that Binds, by former NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue and former Research Director Ellie Langford, traces the evolution of abortion from a non-partisan issue to the point of the spear for a right-wing movement bent on impeding social progress. Picked by Book Authority as one of the 52 best books for politicians in 2021, this book is an essential primer for political observers, journalists, and engaged citizens.


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8 in 10 Americans support the legal right to abortion. Yet we’re in the midst of an all-out assault on reproductive freedom, and Roe v. Wade is hanging on by a thread.

The Lie that Binds is the indispensable account of how the formerly non-partisan, back-burner issue of abortion rights was reinvented as the sharp point of the spear for a much larger reactionary movement bent on maintaining control in a changing world. Written by former NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue with research by Ellie Langford, The Lie that Binds traces the evolution of some of the most dangerous and least understood forces in U.S. politics, offering an unflinchingly incisive analysis of the conservative political machinery designed to thwart social progress — all built around the foundational lie that their motivations are based in moral convictions about individual pregnancies.  

This book introduces the colorful cast of characters behind the Radical Right — from anti-ERA protesters to men’s rights activists — and explains how conservative political operatives intentionally targeted abortion as a rallying cry for their followers as their other prejudices fell from favor. Abortion acted as a Trojan horse to move a deeply unpopular, regressive policy agenda.

Hogue and Langford’s deeply-researched investigation is an essential primer for activists, political observers, journalists, and engaged citizens, pulling back the curtain on how this extremist operation drives our politics and threatens our democracy. Read it and learn the truth behind the lie that binds the radical right together.

About the Authors
Ilyse Hogue is the former President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, where she has led the organization in the fight for reproductive freedom from 2013 until 2020. Under her leadership, NARAL became an organizing powerhouse — tripling its membership to 2.5 million, advancing state and federal legislation to protect and expand abortion access, and fighting an unprecedented wave of abortion bans at the state level. Her commentary has been featured in The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Nation, Cosmopolitan, and ELLE.

Ellie Langford is the former Research Director at NARAL Pro-Choice America. While at NARAL, Ellie worked with her team to understand the radical right's efforts to chip away at reproductive freedom in America and sound the alarm about their growing influence within the Trump administration. Ellie has a deep background in audience research, qualitative data analysis and message development, and has built and tested communications strategies for major nonprofits and foundations. She has also worked in opposition research and media criticism, monitoring extremist ideologies online and writing about misinformation and disinformation in the media.

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