Motherhood by Choice: Pioneers in Women's Health and Family Planning

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   To honor the 40th anniversary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, journalist Perdita Huston travelled the world to gather this remarkable collection of oral histories of and about the often unknown leaders of a worldwide movement to bring women their reproductive rights. Drawing on personal interviews, Huston delineates the motivations, strategies, and heartaches of twelve pioneers-eight women, four men-both from the developing world, before and after colonial rule, and from industrialized countries, who braved scorn and abuse to raise the issues of family planning, contraception, and sex education, and to fight for improved healthcare for women. These moving testimonies reflect the personal leadership style of each pioneer from Dr. Evangelina Rodriquez, the first woman doctor in the Dominican Republic, who defied church policies and the corrupt dictator Trujillo to promote family planning and fight the spread of venereak disease; to Miyoski Ohba who contended with innumerable taboos in postwar Japan to introduce poor villagers to the use of condoms; to Elsie Ottsen-Jensen, born in 1886 to a poor Norwegian family of 17 children, who became acutely aware of the high rate of maternal mortality throughout turn-of-the-century Scandinavia and went on to found the Swedish Association of Sex Educators in 1933. Motherhood by Choice stands as a significant historical document tracing the development of public health services, sex education, and contraceptive services that will inspire and inform all who are concerned about women's health and reproductive rights.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of oral history interviews, in honor of the International Planned Parenthood Federation's IPPF 40th anniversary, reveals the rich and varied stories of 12 previously uncelebrated family planning pioneers from both Western and Third World nations. The subjects themselves--eight women, four men--are fascinating. They range from relatives of a royal clan to products of prolific peasant families, and their personal motivations to promote birth control run the gamut. Some were social workers who saw babies dying in droves; several were deeply religious and staunchly antiabortion; one was a Communist and antinuclear activist; about half were doctors. Their strategies seem to have been as diverse and colorful as their personalities and cultures, yet common threads such as Roman Catholic opposition run through each narrative. Introductory material places the interviews in context and reminds us of the alarming increases in many populations within the past 50 years. Highly recommended.-- Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558610699
  • Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Looking Back to Learn 1
2 Dr Evangelina Rodriguez: Dominican Republic 10
3 Elise Ottesen-Jensen: Norway and Sweden 24
4 Sylvia Fernando: Sri Lanka 39
5 Constance Goh Kok Kee: Singapore 55
6 Zahia Marzouk: Egypt 69
7 Professor M.L. Kashetra Snidvongs: Thailand 82
8 Dr Tewhida Ben Sheikh: Tunisia 95
9 Professor Mohamed Ibrahim: Bangladesh 107
10 Elsie Locke: New Zealand 118
11 Dr M.A. Barnor: Ghana 134
12 Miyoshi Oba: Japan 147
13 Dr Faran Samake: Mali 160
14 Epilogue: Looking Forward 171
Bibliography 182
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