The Woman Rebel (1914)

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 (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

Twilight SleepTwilight 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 (1777–1852)John George Children described several species of insects 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 Antaresia childreni, 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 gestation as a possible reason for the evolution of live

Priscilla White (1900–1989)

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. Her research 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)

<a href="/search?text=Webster%20v.%20Reproductive%20Health%20Services%20%281989%29" title="" class="lexicon-term">Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)</a> In the 1989 case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a Missouri law regulating abortion care. The 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

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014)

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014)In the 2014 case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the US Supreme Court ruled that the contraceptive mandate promulgated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violated privately held, for-profit corporations’ right to religious freedom. In 2012, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued the contraception mandate, which required that employer-provided health insurance plans offer their beneficiaries certain contraceptive methods free of charge. In a five to four decision, the US Supreme Court maintained that the mandate, in cases of privately held, for-profit organizations like Hobby Lobby Inc., violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Although the

Ian Donald (1910–1987)

<a href="/search?text=Ian%20Donald" title="" class="lexicon-term">Ian Donald</a> (1910–1987) Ian Donald was an obstetrician who developed ultrasound diagnostics during the twentieth century in Europe. Ultrasound is a medical diagnostic technique that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. During the early 1900s, physicians had no way to see inside a woman’s uterus during pregnancy. Donald developed the first method of scanning human internal anatomy in real time, which enabled doctors to diagnose potentially fatal tumors and

Ernest John Christopher Polge (1926-2006)

Ernest John Christopher Polge (1926-2006)Twentieth-century researcher Ernest John Christopher Polge studied the reproductive processes of livestock and determined a method to successfully freeze, thaw, and utilize viable sperm cells to produce offspring in animals. In 1949, Polge identified glycerol as a cryoprotectant, or a medium that enables cells to freeze without damaging their cellular components or functions. Several years later, Polge used glycerol in a freezing process called vitrification, which enabled him to freeze poultry sperm, thaw that sperm, and use it to

Emma Goldman (1869–1940)

Emma Goldman (1869–1940)Emma Goldman was a traveling public speaker and writer known for her anarchist political views as well as her opinions on contraception and birth limiting in the late nineteenth century in the United States. Goldman identified as an anarchist, which she explained as being part of an ideology in which people use violence to provoke or demand social and political change. Goldman was involved in many anarchist social groups and published the anarchist magazine Mother Earth. She spent the majority of her life traveling the US and Europe giving lectures and presentations on her views of the political events of the late nineteenth century. Goldman also worked to spread awareness about birth control in