Why Gloria Steinem’s book dedication about her abortion is bringing people to tears

Posted by
Harriet Hall

The journalist, writer and political activist, Gloria Steinem, has moved social media with the dedication to her latest book.

My Life On the Road, is a nomadic personal memoir that chronicles how the author’s travels taught her about social progress.

But it’s the books first page that has gotten people talking…and crying.

Steinem has dedicated the novel to the doctor who gave her an abortion when she was 22, in 1957 – before abortions were legal in the UK.

The feminist activist has never before revealed the doctor’s name, as he had requested, but has now published it after his death.

The dedication, in full below, says that the doctor asked Steinem to promise him two things:

“First, you will not tell anyone my name,” it reads.

“Second, you will do what you want to do with your life.”

To which Steinem has responded:

“Dear Dr. Sharpe…I’ve done the best I could with my life. This book is for you.”

gloria steinem

Steinem, 81, was at the vanguard of feminism’s second wave in the late 1960s and early 1970s, writing a column for New York Magazine and founding Ms.magazine.

Her article After Black Power, Women’s Liberation, brought her international fame and cemented her position as a feminist leader.

People have responded widely on social media to her latest book dedication, finding the dedication incredibly moving and empowering.

See Steinem read her dedication out loud below.