Choice and Coercion: Birth Control, Sterilization, and by Johanna Schoen

By Johanna Schoen

In August 2003, North Carolina grew to become the 1st U.S. nation to provide restitution to sufferers of state-ordered sterilizations conducted through its eugenics software among 1929 and 1975. the choice was once brought on principally by way of a sequence of articles within the Winston-Salem Journal. those tales have been encouraged partially via the examine of Johanna Schoen, who was once granted detailed entry to summaries of 7,500 case histories and the papers of the North Carolina Eugenics Board.

In this booklet, Schoen situates the state's reproductive politics in a countrywide and international context. Widening her concentration to incorporate contraception, sterilization, and abortion guidelines around the kingdom, she demonstrates how every one approach for proscribing undesirable pregnancies had the capability either to extend and to restrict women's reproductive offerings. Such courses overwhelmingly distinctive negative and nonwhite populations, but in addition they prolonged a degree of reproductive regulate to negative girls that was once formerly out of reach.

On a global point, the U.S. has encouraged reproductive overall healthiness guidelines by way of, for instance, tying overseas relief to the recipients' compliance with U.S. notions approximately family members making plans. the supply of U.S.-funded family members making plans relief has proved to be a double-edged sword, delivering unheard of possibilities to negative ladies whereas subjecting overseas sufferers to scientific experimentation that will be thought of unacceptable at home.

Drawing at the voices of healthiness and technological know-how execs, civic benefactors, and American girls themselves, Schoen's examine permits deeper understandings of the trendy welfare country and the lives of women.

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Additional info for Choice and Coercion: Birth Control, Sterilization, and Abortion in Public Health and Welfare (Gender and American Culture)

Sample text

Both federal and state governments began to provide family planning through public health clinics and traveling birth control nurses. Researchers supported by national birth control organizations and private philanthropies established contraceptive field trials. And some physicians provided poor women with birth control advice in their private o≈ces. Humanitarian, eugenic, and economic concerns converged in the complex set of factors that motivated health and welfare professionals’ involvement in the delivery of birth control.

The quality of their experiences with birth control programs depended in part on the extent to which o≈cials integrated contraceptive advice into broader health and social services. Neither minority nor poor white clients of the birth control programs necessarily experienced the contraceptive o√ers as a form of state control. Nor did they usually see eye to eye with the largely white, middle-class professionals who ran the services. Instead, they had their own agendas, often unanticipated by public health and public welfare o≈cials.

Nor did they usually see eye to eye with the largely white, middle-class professionals who ran the services. Instead, they had their own agendas, often unanticipated by public health and public welfare o≈cials. These women welcomed the services, participated in them, and helped shape the contraceptive programs. Black health and social work professionals demanded better health and contraceptive services for African American women and occasionally even adopted eugenic rhetoric. They repeatedly challenged public health o≈cials and influential whites to increase their outreach in black communities.

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