Chernobyl Heart (2003)
In 2003, HBO Original Programming released the documentary Chernobyl Heart
. Maryann De Leo directed and produced the film, which is about the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and how the radiation
from that accident has affected people living in the area. Side effects have included mental disabilities, physical disabilities, and genetic mutations. The documentary follows Adi Roche, the founder of Chernobyl Children International, a non-profit humanitarian organization
headquartered in Cork, Ireland, as she interviews people who live in the areas that Chernobyl contaminated with radiation
Barbara Seaman (1935–2008)
Barbara Seaman was a writer, investigator, and advocate for female healthcare rights during the twentieth century in the United States. Seaman’s work addressed the gendered prejudice she observed in the US healthcare system and argued that women of the 1960s lacked the proper tools to make informed decisions about pregnancy
care, breastfeeding, childbirth, and contraception
. Seaman wrote the book The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill
in 1969 to expose the dangers in prescribing and consuming high doses of estrogen
in the form of birth control
“The ‘Kangaroo-Method’ for Treating Low Birth Weight Babies in a Developing Country” (1994), by Nils Bergman and Agneta Jürisoo
In the 1994 article “The ‘Kangaroo-Method’ for Treating Low Birth Weight
Babies in a Developing Country,” authors Nils Bergman and Agneta Jürisoo evaluate the effectiveness of the Kangaroo Care method in treating low birth weight infants at Manama Mission Hospital in Gwanda, Zimbabwe. Low birth weight infants face many medical complications. In developing countries, where the prevalence of low birth weight infants is highest, there is limited access to the technology or skilled personnel required to keep those infants alive.
The Woman Rebel (1914)
In the early twentieth century, birth control
advocate Margaret Sanger published eight issues of a feminist magazine called The Woman Rebel
. During this time, discussion of sex education, birth control
, and abortion
were illegal. The magazine featured literary pieces on topics like women’s rights, love and marriage, women in the workplace, reproductive and sexual education, and contraception
. The Woman Rebel
was one of the first magazines that discussed issues that working class American women faced.
Dana Louise Raphael (1926–2016)
Dana Louise Raphael was an anthropologist and breastfeeding
advocate in the US during the twentieth century. After she was unable
to breastfeed her own infant, Raphael began to research why
breastfeeding was more common in other cultures than in the US. As
part of that research, Raphael cofounded the Human Lactation Center,
where she studied the breastfeeding habits of mothers around the
world. Through that research, she coordinated with formula
manufacturers to educate women on the benefits of breastfeeding and
formula supplementation to reduce infant mortality in developing
nations. In addition, Raphael was the first person to use the word
doula to describe a childbirth support companion for laboring women.
Raphael was an advocate for the acceptance of breastfeeding around
the world, and asserted the importance of doula support for new
mothers in the form of breastfeeding education.
Twilight Sleep (Dammerschlaf
) was a form of
childbirth first used in the early twentieth century in Germany in
which drugs caused women in labor to enter a state of sleep prior to
giving birth and awake from childbirth with no recollection of the
procedure. Prior to the early twentieth century, childbirth was
performed at home and women did not have anesthetics to alleviate
the pain of childbirth. In 1906, obstetricians Bernhardt Kronig and
Karl Gauss developed the twilight sleep method to relieve
the pain of childbirth using a combination of the drugs scopolamine
and morphine. Twilight sleep contributed to changing childbirth from
an at home process to a hospital procedure and increased the use of
anesthetics in obstetrics.
John George Children (1777–1852)
John George Children described several species of
and animals while working at the British Museum in
London, England, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Children also conducted research on chemical batteries called
voltaic cells and briefly studied and manufactured gunpowder.
One of the species he described, the Children’s python, or
, was used in the twenty-first
century as the subject of experiments that involved the
biological cost of reproduction in snakes. Those experiments
helped examine the importance of thermoregulation during
as a possible reason for the evolution
Priscilla White (1900–1989)
Priscilla White studied the treatment of diabetes in
mothers, pregnant women, and children during the twentieth century in
the United States. White began working with children with Type 1 diabetes in
1924 at Elliott Proctor Joslin’s practice in Boston, Massachusetts.
Type 1 diabetes is an incurable disease where the pancreas produces
little to no insulin. Insulin is a hormone
that allows the body to
use sugar from food for energy and store sugars for future use.
Joslin and White authored many publications on children and
diabetes, in 1952, White helped Joslin found the Joslin Clinic. White
noted that many of the children with whom she worked also had parents with the disease.
focused on diabetic pregnant women and female children with diabetes.
White implemented the technique of delivering infants of diabetic
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)
In the 1989 case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a Missouri law regulating abortion
Missouri law prohibited the use of public facilities, employees, or
funds to provide abortion
counseling or services. The law also placed restrictions on physicians who provided
abortions. A group of physicians affected by the law challenged the
constitutionality of certain sections of it. The US federal district
court that first heard the case ruled many of the challenged sections of
the law unconstitutional. The Missouri attorney general then appealed