Traveling alone when she was between 17 and 22, with no institutional affiliation and no financial assistance, the author visited five developing countries and two developed ones on five continents. Her goal was to extend her own experience in an abortion clinic in Portland, Oregon. Lara Knudsen interviewed over 90 women's rights activists, health professionals, NGO workers, and government officials, gaining a sense of both official policies and the actual delivery of services in local clinics. In each setting she asked, ""How much control do women have over their bodies and fertility-related decisions?"" To begin to understand the answer to this vast question, the book examines women's access to sex education, maternity care, family planning, and abortion, and analyzes how much power women in diverse contexts have to negotiate sexual practices. The book places the experiences of women within the global context of how international population control agendas have influenced women's reproductive rights in the past, and how the changing international discourse on reproductive health continues to influence those rights today. This rare comparative policy book written by a single author is a model for how research can be conducted by students and activists. This ""essential primer on the comparative experiences of reproductive rights"" (as Lisa Ann Richey calls this book) is well-suited for courses in women's studies, globalization, public health, and political science.
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
This easy-to-read, enlightening, and interesting book will be on the reading lists for this reviewer's lower-level social research and upper-level demography courses. Highly recommended.
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