Abortion Care As Moral Work: Ethical Considerations of Maternal and Fetal Bodies, An Interview with Johanna Schoen

The timely anthology from Rutgers University Press, Abortion Care As Moral Work: Ethical Considerations of Maternal and Fetal Bodies, edited by Johanna Schoen, brings together the voices of abortion providers, counselors, clinic owners, neonatologists, bioethicists, and historians. The authors describe their motivations for offering or studying abortion care; discuss how anti-abortion regulations have made it… Read more →

Maternal-Child Separation in the Carceral State

In 1966, the American “war on crime” began with Lyndon B. Johnson’s Special Message to the Congress on Crime and Law Enforcement. In this speech, he emphasized community wellbeing as justification for a massive federal investment in the criminal legal system. In the final words of this address, he stated that “the ways we deal… Read more →

Her Heroine Mother: Maternity and British Secret Agents in World War II

In the waning months of World War II, news began to circulate that the British had been sending operatives to German-occupied Europe to conduct clandestine warfare and that some of them had been women. These female secret agents served as couriers, radio operators, and organizers in the French (F) Section of the Special Operations Executive… Read more →

No Real Choice: How Culture and Politics Matter For Reproductive Autonomy by Katrina Kimport

In the United States, the “right to choose” an abortion is the law of the land. But what if a woman continues her pregnancy because she didn’t really have a choice? What if state laws, federal policies, stigma, and a host of other obstacles push that choice out of her reach? Based on candid, in-depth… Read more →

Language Barriers and Poorer Health Outcomes

“I’m sorry to say this but we’ve found evidence of myocardial ischemia in your aortic valve. Now, we can either start you on a regimen of isosorbide or discuss plans for an angioplasty but we want to make sure you pick the option that best suits your needs.” Beyond the shock of hearing that the… Read more →

Anacleto Palabay in the Metropole: Public Health, Migration, and Deportation in the Case of a Filipino Leprosy Patient

Anacleto Palabay, a young Filipino domestic worker in Washington, D.C., was intent on returning home to the Philippines. His soon-to-be wife was waiting there for him and he was eager to build a life with her after making money while living in the United States. Palabay’s story was a common one among Filipina/o migrants to… Read more →

Reading Disability History Back into American Girl

I recently spent a series of afternoons digging through closets at my parents’ house, searching for my sisters’ and my once beloved American Girl collection. In boxes and boxes of doll clothes, furniture, and accessories, I found Molly McIntire’s nightstand, complete with a doll-sized hot water bottle inside. The hot water bottle was adorned with… Read more →

“Weather Bad and Whales Un-cooperative”: The Misadventures of Mid-Century Whale Cardiology Expeditions

In the mid-1950s, newspapers and magazines excitedly reported on scientist-explorers undertaking daring expeditions to harpoon gray whales off the North American Pacific Coast. Tales of enraged mother whales bashing boats and groups of men attempting risky technological feats painted an image of maritime scientific adventure. The scene of these adventures was the foggy southern California… Read more →

Empathy in the Archive: Care and Disdain for Wet Nursing Mothers

Before the advent of infant formula and the regulation of the dairy industry, babies who were not breastfed faced mortal danger with every sip of cows’ milk. As a small installation I curated last year at the New York Historical Society demonstrated, medical and technological developments at the turn of the century transformed cows’ milk… Read more →

Gay Blood Donors: Benching our “Heroes”?

When I was a child, needles terrified me, especially if they were used for blood draws. Every time my blood was drawn, a nightmarish scene would occur in the doctor’s office, which involved screaming, crying, and passing out. But when I started high school this changed. We began to have blood drives, and as soon… Read more →