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First American Birth Control Clinic (The Brownsville Clinic), 1916

First American Birth Control Clinic (The Brownsville Clinic), 1916On 16 October 1916, Margaret Sanger opened one of the first birth control clinics in the United States in Brooklyn, New York, which some have called the Brownsville Clinic. Located at 46 Amboy Street, the clinic was a place where Sanger and her staff verbally communicated with women seeking information about birth control. During the early 1900s, both birth control and abortion were illegal in the US, and publication or circulation of information on both topics was deemed obscene and illegal by the federal Comstock Act.

The Excommunication of Margaret McBride (2009–2010)

The Excommunication of Margaret McBride (2009–2010)In 2010, the Catholic Church excommunicated Margaret McBride, a nun and ethics board member at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. McBride was excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically, for approving a therapeutic abortion, which is an abortion that is required to save a pregnant woman’s life. McBride approved an abortion for a woman who was twenty-seven years old, eleven weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and suffered from pulmonary hypertension, a life-threatening condition during pregnancy. Following McBride’s decision, St.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014) by Mary Dore

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014) by Mary DoreIn 2014 Mary Dore directed the documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, which details the events and accomplishments of the women’s liberation movement from 1966 to the early 1970s in the United States. The film features commentaries from greater than thirty activists who worked to advance the women’s movement. Throughout the film, the activists describe the timeline of events that led to women’s improved access to reproductive healthcare and a reduction in sexual discrimination in the US. The documentary also features clips from protests, demonstrations, and other significant events during the US women’s liberation movement.

Ericsson Method of Sperm Separation

Ericsson Method of Sperm SeparationIn 1973, Ronald Ericsson developed the Ericsson method, which is a technique used to separate human male sperm cells by their genetic material. Ericsson, a physician and reproduction researcher, developed the method while conducting research on sperm isolation in Berlin, Germany, in the early 1970s. He found that the sperm cells that carry male-producing Y chromosomes move through liquid faster than the cells that carry female-producing X chromosomes.

NovaSure Endometrial Ablation

NovaSure Endometrial AblationNovaSure is a device for endometrial ablation, which is a procedure that removes the endometrium, that the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved for use on 28 September 2001. Endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. NovaSure destroys the endometrium by sending electric beams at the endometrium.

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, later Our Bodies Ourselves (1969–)

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, later Our Bodies Ourselves (1969–)The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective was a women’s health organization headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, that published the informational book Our Bodies Ourselves, which sold over 4.5 million copies. Initially called the Doctor’s Group, the Collective formed in response to the insufficiency of women-specific health information during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Members of the organization participated in the women’s liberation movement in Boston, Massachusetts, and conducted research on women’s health using resources such as medical textbooks.

Title 1, Subtitle B, Parts I, II, and III of the “National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993” (1993)

Title 1, Subtitle B, Parts I, II, and III of the “National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993” (1993)In 1993, the NIH published the Revitalization Act that established guidelines for minorities’ and women’s participation in clinical research. Before the 1990s, investigators largely excluded women from their research based on the 1979 guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. The FDA urged investigators to exclude any woman who was or could become, pregnant to protect the woman and any developing fetuses from harm. Between 1979 and 1993, several other US governmental agencies urged investigators to increase the number of women in their clinical research to improve the state of women’s healthcare.

“A Proposed Structure for the Nucleic Acids” (1953) by Linus Pauling and Robert Brainard Corey

“A Proposed Structure for the Nucleic Acids” (1953) by Linus Pauling and Robert Brainard CoreyIn February 1953, Linus Pauling and Robert Brainard Corey, two scientists working at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, proposed a structure for deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, in their article “A Proposed Structure for the Nucleic Acids,” henceforth “Nucleic Acids.” In the article, Pauling and Corey suggest a model for nucleic acids, including DNA, that consisted of three nucleic acid strands wound together in a triple helix.

Sex in a Cold Climate (1998)

Sex in a Cold Climate (1998)In 1998, Testimony Films released the documentary Sex in a Cold Climate, which reported the true stories of four survivors from the Magdalene asylums in Ireland in the twentieth century. Magdalene asylums, also called Magdalene laundries and homes, were institutions of the Catholic Church that sought to reform women engaged in prostitution and those who birthed children out of wedlock by forcing the women to do hard labor. Directed by Steve Humphries, the documentary interlocks four survivors’ stories of how they came to inhabit a Magdalene asylum, what occurred to them there, and how they eventually freed themselves. An Irish film festival first screened the documentary, which became the inspiration for the 2002 film, The Magdalene Sisters.

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