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Reproductive politics is a term coined by feminists in the 1970s to describe contemporary, Roe v. Wade-era power struggles over contraception and abortion, adoption and surrogacy, and other satellite issues. Forty years later, questions of reproductive rights are just as complex--and controversial--as they were then. Focusing mainly on the United States, Reproductive Politicsexplores the legal, political, religious, social, ethical, and medical dimensions of this hotly contested arena. Tracing the historical roots of reproductive politics up through the present, Rickie Solinger adopts a question-and-answer format to shed light on such questions as: are sex and reproduction "private" or "public" matters? When was abortion criminalized in the United States--and why? What is "abstinence only" sex education? And how is "reproductive politics" a men's issue as well as a women's issue? Covering a substantial range of information in an accessible and lively manner, Solinger orients readers and provides the knowledge necessary to enter into dialogue with this important and continually evolving field.
Rickie Solinger is a historian and curator. She has written and edited a number of books about reproductive politics, including Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race before Roe v. Wade and Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the U.S. Solinger has organized exhibitions that have traveled to 140 college and university galleries over the past eighteen years. She lives in the Hudson Valley and New York City.