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Classic Episode: A Revisionist History of Abortion, Part 2


Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Raised during the Progressive Era crusade against abortion, Margaret Sanger devoted her life to making birth control and familiy planning accessible to women from all walks of life. In this second installment of the two-part cultural and legal history of abortion, Cristen and Caroline highlight Sanger's legacy and eugenics controversy and how the development of Planned Parenthood coincided with midcentury women's fight to access abortion by whatever means necessary.

Episode Sources:

"Abortion in ancient history: Ancient Greece and Rome" http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/legal/history_1.shtml

"The introduction to 'When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973'" http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97may/abortex.htm

"History of abortion in the U.S." http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/health-info/u-s-abortion-history/

"Madame Restell: The abortionist of Fifth Avenue" http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/madame-restell-the-abortionist-of-fifth-avenue-145109198/?no-ist

"Jane: Abortion and the underground" https://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUFeature/TribTheater.html

"Planned Parenthood: History and Successes" https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/history-successes

"Anthony Comstock's 'chastity' laws" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/e_comstock.html

"A brief history of the birth control pill" http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/a-brief-history-of-the-birth-control-pill/480/

"Title X Family Planning" http://www.hhs.gov/opa/title-x-family-planning/

"9 things about Planned Parenthood -- and the violence against it -- everyone should know" http://www.vox.com/2015/11/30/9816870/planned-parenthood-violence-controversy

"Americans choose 'pro-choice' for first time in seven years" http://www.gallup.com/poll/183434/americans-choose-pro-choice-first-time-seven-years.aspx

"Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/p_sanger.html

"The great bluff that led to a 'magical' pill and a sexual revolution" http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/10/07/354103536/the-great-bluff-that-lead-to-a-magical-pill-and-a-sexual-revolution

"How false narratives of Margaret Sanger are being used to shame black women" http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/08/20/false-narratives-margaret-sanger-used-shame-black-women/

"The eugenic value of birth control propaganda" https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/webedition/app/documents/show.php?sangerDoc=238946.xml

"Q&A on history of violence against Planned Parenthood as anti-abortion videos renew criticism" http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2015/11/29/planned-parenthood-under-fire-literally-and-figuratively

"A brief history of anti-abortion violence" http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/30/us/anti-abortion-violence/

Academic Insights:

"From commonplace to controversial: The different histories of abortion in Europe and the United States." Anna M. Peterson. Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective. Vol. 6, Iss. 2. November 2012. http://origins.osu.edu/article/commonplace-controversial-different-histories-abortion-europe-and-united-states/page/0/0

"The history of birth control." Kathleen London. The Changing American Family: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Vol. 6. 1982. http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1982/6/82.06.03.x.html

"Lessons from before Roe: Will past be prologue?" Rachel Benson Gold. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. Vol. 6, No. 1. March 2003. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/1/gr060108.html

"When abortion was a crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973." Leslie J. Reagan. University of California Press. 1997. http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft967nb5z5&chunk.id=

"America's hidden history: The eugenics movement." Teryn Bouche and Laura Rivard. Genetics Generation. Sept. 18, 2014. http://www.nature.com/scitable/forums/genetics-generation/america-s-hidden-history-the-eugenics-movement-123919444

"Abortion." Gallup. 2015. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

"Margaret Sanger: A life of passion." Jean H. Baker. Macmillan. November 2011. https://books.google.com/books?id=u7pgCFIcH2cC&dq=margaret+sanger&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Topics in this Podcast: abortion, Planned Parenthood, reproduction, birth control, feminism, history, health


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