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Fit to Be Tied: Sterilization and Reproductive Rights in America, 1950-1980 (Critical Issues in Health and Medicine) Paperback – February 11, 2011
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Readers who want to have an accurate understanding of the antecedents of Roe v. Wade and the restricting decisions that followed it should read Riva Siegel & Linda Greenhouse's book (the title is something like 'The Roots of Roe').
The same at-a-distance sloppy use of sources also mars the chapter on eugenics. That was enough for me. If the chapters on areas I know well are poor, then how can I trust the author's assertions on areas I don't know as well?
The foundation of this book is on the eugenic and what the author calls the neo-eugenic movements in the US during the early to mid-20th century and it's impact on permanent sterilization, both forced and voluntary. She covers how these movements influenced the medical, welfare, and social services sectors of communities and their personal impact on the reproductively "fit" and "unfit". Cases studies are presented which illustrate how the "unfit" were typically forced into sterilization, or even sterilized without consent or knowledge and other cases in which other women (typically white, middle or upper class) were denied access to sterilization. Major organizations involved in either promoting access or assisting those affected by sterilization are significant aspects of each chapter.
The author weaves in other movements that occurred during this time in the US, such as the feminist, civil rights, and other minority rights and their impacts on access to sterilization. The majority of the book focuses on tubal ligations, however vasectomy is also discussed.Read more ›