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)
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
In 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)
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
Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky (1804-1878)
During the nineteenth century, Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky conducted research on the causes of disease by performing approximately 30,000 autopsies, a practice that many people opposed at the time. Rokitansky performed his research in pathology, or the study of disease, and morbid anatomy, or the study of dead bodies, in Vienna, then part of the Austrian Empire and later part of Austria. In 1860, Rokitansky studied the growth of abnormal uterine tissue, and was one of the first to detect endometriosis
, or endometrial tissue growth outside of the uterus
, which helped future researchers further identify and understand endometriosis
Otto Rank (1884–1939)
Otto Rank studied how birth impacts individuals’ psychology and creates anxiety throughout their lives in Europe and the US during the nineteenth century. In his book The Trauma of Birth
, Rank stated that birth was extremely traumatic and that one spent his or her whole life trying to recover from the experience of being born and harshly separated from the peaceful womb
. He argued that the trauma experienced at birth is the source of all human suffering and the key to understanding anxiety later in life. He stated that the experience of birth was one’s earliest experience of anxiety, which served as the blueprint for all other anxiety related experiences in life.
Gail Roberta Martin (1944–)
In the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Gail Roberta Martin specialized in biochemistry and embryology
, more specifically cellular communication and the development of organs. In 1981, she named any cell taken from inside a human embryo at the blastocyst
stage an “embryonic stem cell”. During development, an embryo goes through the blastocyst
stage just before it implants in the uterus
Thomas Raphael Verny (1936- )
During the twentieth century, Thomas Raphael Verny studied the way that environment affects a developing fetus’s character and psychological development. Verny studied the concept of memory before birth and covered both the prenatal and perinatal periods, meaning the time the fetus
is in the womb
and the weeks immediately before or after birth, respectively. During those times, Verny claimed that patterns of maternal attitudes and experiences, such as affection and stress-related emotions, impact the development of the child.
Bellotti v. Baird (1979)
On 2 July 1979, the United States Supreme Court decided Bellotti v. Baird, ruling that a Massachusetts law that prohibited minors from obtaining abortions without parental consent was unconstitutional. That law prohibited minors from receiving abortions without permission from both of their parents or a superior court judge. Under that law, if one or both of the minor’s parents denied consent, the minor could petition a superior court judge who would determine whether the minor was competent enough to make the decision to abort on her own. In addition to judging the minor’s competency, a superior court judge could also determine whether the abortion
was in the minor’s best interest.
The Milky Way (2014)
On 26 April 2014, Gravitas Ventures released the documentary The Milky Way
, a film directed by Jon Fitzgerald that compares breastfeeding in the US with breastfeeding in European countries. The film was produced by Piece of My Heart Productions and Cause Pictures. In the film, producers Jennifer Davidson and Chantal Molnar travel to Berlin, Germany, and Stockholm, Sweden, to observe how people perceive breastfeeding there, compared to in the US. Breastfeeding provides multiple benefits to both the infant and mother, including infants developing a healthy immune system and mothers recovering from birth at an increased rate. The film shows how women in the US are inhibited by limited maternity leave compared to women in European countries.