Historical and Multicultural Encyclopedia of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States

by Judith A. Baer, ed.

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Cover image for Historical and Multicultural Encyclopedia of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States

April 2002


Pages 272
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Women's Studies/Politics and Law
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eproductive rights refers to a range of claims concerning whether, when and how to have children. Beneath this clear statement lays the most contentious political, legal, and cultural issue in America today. Involving the self, the family, and the State, women's reproductive rights generates much impassioned argument but painfully little agreement. Topics and authors take on diverse and often clashing positions, highlighting this issue's complex and highly charged nature. Arranged alphabetically by topic, articles representing racial and ethnic groups' experiences figure prominently, as do the effects of age, class, education, health, religion, and sexual preference on childbearing and -rearing practices, in and out of wedlock. It also includes articles on laws, court cases, political attitudes, prominent activists, and technological advances as they relate to reproductive rights. Entries are written by highly regarded scholars, are cross-referenced, and conclude with suggested further readings.

Designed to introduce and inform the reader to this extremely difficult topic, Baer's ecumenical approach exposes us to a variety of opinions from support for current abortion policies to the building movement for fetal rights. Only reasoned opinions supported by hard evidence are included, and no attempt was made to mute the often incommensurable opinions expressed within. This book will be a valuable resources for students, scholars, and any person interested in learning about the multiplicity of perspectives on this important issue that is at the heart of our current culture wars.

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionThe EncyclopediaBibiographyIndexContributors



Focusing primarily on the late-20th-century US, Baer's encyclopedia further develops information in existing reference works on birth control, abortion, and women's rights. Multiparagraph to multipage articles consider not only laws, court cases, political attitudes, technological advances, and prominent activists and organizations, but also experiences of various racial, ethnic, age, class, ability, and religious groups concerning issues related to reproduction....Recommended for undergraduate and graduate academic libraries.—Choice

...the Baer volume lives up to its promise of being a historical and multicultural encyclopedia, and is recommended for undergraduate and public library collections.—Feminist Collections


A comprehensive and very useful reference work, for both students and scholars interested in the history, law, and politics of the controversy over abortion.—David M. O'Brien^LSpicer Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs^LUniversity of Virginia

This is a rich, analytically diverse, and information-packed volume. It is a work all American feminist scholars will want at their fingertips, and is also what college teachers have long needed for students interested in learning more about reproductive rights. Intelligently organized and reader-friendly, this encyclopedia is a gem.—Wendy Brown^LProfessor of Political Science and Women's Studies^LUniversity of California, Berkeley

[T]his volume offers its description without stripping the issue of its political controversy--it aspires to objectivity without blandness, achieves inclusiveness without neutrality....[T]his comprehensive handbook makes a wonderful contribution to the field.—Sally J. Kenney^LHumphrey Institute for Public Affairs University of Minnesota

Other Titles of Interest

Women's Rights in the United States cover imageAmerican Women Managers and Administrators cover imageWomen's Rights cover image
Women in the American Political System cover image

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