The City Sentinel

Local Planned Parenthood group hosts activist Janet Taliaferro’s booking signing event

Darla Shelden Story by on January 18, 2012 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer


Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma (PPCO) is hosting a book signing event for Janet Taliaferro’s latest novel,
“Virgin Hall”. The event is to be held 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 at Full Circle Book Store, 1900 N Expressway.

 


Attendees will be able to imbibe in wine and light refreshments.  A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Planned
Parenthood’s operations.


 

Virgin Hall is a book about four college women coming of age in the 1950s. Sorority rush, boys, and a great date were all
priorities for co-eds of the day.


 

Author and political activist Janet Taliaferro said, “At heart, Virgin Hall is a book about what the 1950s were like and
all the rigid hypocrisy and misplaced priorities of the times. We were the last generation to reflect the mores, habits, attitudes,
and cultural values that dominated American life over the previous century.

 


“Virgin Hall is also is the story of a kinder era, when the individual felt a duty to society at large, values that seemed to die
off after the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.”


 

The book’s heroine, Sheila O’Connor, Brooklyn born and convent educated, leaves the East Coast for her freshman
year of college at Southern Methodist University. Her three suite mates are familiar with what is an unfamiliar
world to her.


 

The novel reveals that Sheila is an incest victim and experiences a pregnancy from a rape. Thirty years later, America
and the female characters have changed profoundly and all of them know that for every gain they made, a price was paid.


 

“For women like me, who came to maturity before the 1960s, the specter of illegal and unsafe abortion is as much of a
horror as the reaction of those who view a terminated pregnancy as murder. “In those days there was no
‘pill’ and the only means of obtaining a contraceptive device was through a doctor, with the exception of condoms,” said
Taliaferro.


 

“Janet is a long-time friend who knows more about politics and women’s issues than just about anyone I’ve ever
met,” said Anita Fream, CEO Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma. “We’re thrilled that she’s coming to Oklahoma City
and that she’s doing this book signing to commemorate Roe v. Wade with us at Full Circle. It’s an especially appropriate gathering
for a woman who’s contributed so much to reproductive justice.”

 


A novelist and poet, Taliaferro has written about alcohol and drug addiction, recovery and the influence of twelvestep
programs, incest, racial and religious tolerance, abortion, and war.

 


“In reality, abortion has been with us as long as pregnancy and will be with us whether the anti-abortion forces are successful
or not. Better, I believe, as President Clinton said, to have abortion be ‘safe, legal and rare,’” said Taliaferro.


 

Taliaferro has remained an avid Planned Parenthood supporter over the years. She graduated from Southern Methodist
University and holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she received
the Geoffrey Bocca Memorial Award for graduate writing.


 

“They are now trying, with bills in legislatures, to declare, against all science, that life begins at the meeting of sperm and egg,” Taliaferro
said. “Where they are successful, many forms of birth control and in-vitro fertilization will be outlawed. In Virgin Hall, I
wanted to show what it was like before Roe.”

 


She said “If legislators affirm life at fertilization—it will be that way again.” she said. For more information visit


www.ppcok.org.

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