Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jill Lapore and the Politicization of Birth Control

Margaret Sanger
The latest issue of the New Yorker contained an interesting article by Harvard history Professor Jill Lepore on the history of politicization of birth control and abortion.  Unfortunately the original article, Birthright, is behind the New Yorker's pay wall, however an NPR interview and the New Yorker Out Loud provide a decent summary's over Lepore's work.

Lepore's work highlights the development of the birth control movement under Margaret Sanger and the later attachment of politics and religion to the issue.  It is interesting to note that initially many clergy, church organizations, and politicians were pro birth control and held starkly different positions than they do today.  Lepore's article also expands on the fundamental shift the birth control movement took as it evolved from American Birth Control League to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  Lepore also aim to tie in present day politics and view points into her examination of the past. 

The article plays into the large context and values of the period and overall provides an interesting political history approach to a topic which has traditionally been explored under the guise of women's history or the history of sexuality. 

What are examples of other political approaches to the history of birth control? 

Photo credit: buttonknee

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