Skip to main content

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Fall of Roe: The Rise of a New America

1. The book opens on the day Roe fell, inside a pregnancy center that opposes abortion in Ohio. Where were you when Roe fell? What was that moment like for you?

2. What does being a woman in America mean for you? Did the fall of Roe change how you think about American womanhood?

3. Much of this book details the political and legal maneuvering of activists and lawyers on both sides of the abortion battle. Do you think the politicians and activists involved with this fight on both sides fully grasp how pregnancy affects women?

4. The book documents how large swaths of Americans were shocked when Roe fell, even though efforts to revoke the decision had been underway for decades. What do you think explained this persistent sense of denial? Were you surprised about the decision to overturn Roe?

5. The book begins about a decade before the Supreme Court decision ending Roe. Do you think there was more Planned Parenthood and their Democratic allies could have done over this period to save federal abortion rights?

6. Many of the activists involved with the battle over abortion had their own complicated stories of pregnancy and raising children. How do you think their personal experiences impacted their perspective of the issue?

7. This book is a nonpartisan exploration of a very politicized topic. As you read, did you engage with beliefs different from yours? What was that experience like?

8. In a way, the Supreme Court is a character in this book. Did this account change how you think about the Supreme Court and the role it plays in American life?

9. The book ends on a cliffhanger, of sorts, in New Mexico, as well as at the confirmation hearing of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Did you read the ending as uplifting or pessimistic? Where do you think America is headed?

10. How do you view the intertwining of the spiritual and the political among those pushing to end abortion rights? Does the left use similar moral underpinning when making their arguments?

11. Many of the people pushing to end Roe are devout Catholics and evangelical Christains. What do you make of the role of Christianity in the fall of Roe, and in shaping American law?

12. The book features intimate stories of women grappling with their pregnancies across several states. How are the stories of the women seeking abortions in South Dakota and Mississippi and those going to the pregnancy crisis center in Ohio similar or different?

13. The fall of Roe injected abortion into the American conversation in a much more active and personal way. Has it been hard for you to talk about the issue with friends and family? What does “abortion” mean for you?

14. Does America value women? What fears and concerns about women and pregnancy are shared across political divides?

The Fall of Roe: The Rise of a New America
by Elizabeth Dias and Lisa Lerer

  • Publication Date: June 4, 2024
  • Genres: Nonfiction, Politics
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250881390
  • ISBN-13: 9781250881397