Impossible Motherhood

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Impossible Motherhood
Author Irene Vilar
Country United States
Language English
Genre Memoir
Publisher Other Press
Publication date
October 6, 2009
ISBN 978-1-59051-320-0
616.85/84 B 22
LC Class HQ767 .V55 2009
Preceded by The Ladies’ Gallery
Followed by N/A

Impossible Motherhood (full title: Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict[1]) is a memoir by Irene Vilar. It is the second memoir published by Vilar, the first being The Ladies’ Gallery.


Impossible Motherhood generated controversy on publication for the revelation that the author had 15 abortions in 17 years[2] between the ages of 16 and 33. Vilar confesses to an "abortion addiction" and argues that the abortions were an act of rebellion against her controlling husband who did not want any children.[3] In the memoir she described how between the ninth abortion and tenth pregnancy she "needed another self-injury to get the high."[4] Vilar also blamed American society for her actions, stating that women were expected to be perfect mothers but to achieve professionally.[5] She states that she still holds pro-choice views but admits abusing the lawful procedure.[6] The cycle of abortions began during a relationship with literary critic Pedro Cuperman. Vilar remarried in 2003 and now has two children.[6]


The work angered American pro-life groups[7] and Vilar received death threats and hate mail[8] after publication.[3] The work was rejected 51 times before publishers accepted it.[9] Dr. Lauren Streicher, clinical assistant professor at the Northwestern University School of Medicine suggested that Vilar could have mental health problems.[5] The Sydney Morning Herald reports that pro-choice groups have been largely silent in response to the publication.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Impossible Motherhood". Irene Vilar. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  2. ^ Mail Foreign Service (2009-10-14). "American 'abortion addict' who had 15 terminations in 17 years publishes her memoir". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Death threats for woman who had 15 abortions in 17 years". WORLD News. 2009-10-15. Archived from the original on 2009-10-18. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  4. ^ "Abortion Addict Admits to Multiple Abortions, Suicide Attempts". ABC News. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  5. ^ a b "Abortion Addict Admits to Multiple Abortions, Suicide Attempts". ABC News. p. 3. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  6. ^ a b "‘Abortion addict’ has 15 terminations in 17 years". The Christian Institute. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  7. ^ a b "Irene Vilar | Abortion addict: the woman who terminated 15 pregnancies in 17 years". Sydney Morning Herald. 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  8. ^ "Death Threats, Hate Mail for Abortion Addict - ABC News". Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  9. ^ "'Abortion addict' releases tell-all book - World - NZ Herald News". Oct 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 

External links[edit]