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Emergency Contraception The Story of a Global Reproductive Health Technology by Angel M. Foster

Emergency Contraception The Story of a Global Reproductive Health Technology


Emergency Contraception The Story of a Global Reproductive Health Technology by Angel M. Foster

Despite its safety and efficacy, emergency contraception (EC) continues to spark political controversy worldwide. In this edited volume, authors explore how emergency contraception has been received, interpreted, and politicized, through the in-depth examination of the journey of EC in 16 individual countries.


This project breaks new ground. Other books have looked at how science impacts gender, sexuality and reproductive issues and how it generally politicizes them. This book sets out purposefully to engage this discussion across all regions of the world. Published materials on these aspects of fertility, sexuality and medical technology are scarce. While isolated articles have been published usually by authors included in this book they are in scientific journals and generally narrowly written. This book opens a treasure trove of comparative data across regions, religions, and economic systems. It will contribute to a growing literature which questions old assumptions: that religion determines use of medical technology; that state control is absolute; that developed countries have more rational approaches to health technology use. Donna Lee Bowen, professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University

This book is the first to place emergency contraception in a comprehensively global context. It skillfully demonstrates how the reception of and messaging around this contraceptive technology is shaped by specific sociopolitical contexts. A must read for those interested in policy on women's health and birth control advocacy. Heather Munro Prescott, author of The Morning After: A History of Emergency Contraception in the United States

This is an important, timely, and accessible book that fills a significant gap in the literature on global reproductive health. In chronicling the journey of emergency contraception, this edited volume provides insights into the ways in which health care technologies can be both politicized and locally appropriated. Tracy A. Weitz, director, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Bixby Center, University of California, San Francisco

This book is a fascinating look at how one of the most controversial medical technologies in recent decades was adopted in different countries. It also upsets generalizations about the effects of religious and moral ideas on contraceptive use. In the US opponents to EC conjured up images of sexual predators taking advantage of the pill to commit rape; in Latin America debate centered on the moral status of the just-fertilized egg; in some Muslim countries concerns instead focused on EC's effects on unmarried women while in others it encountered remarkably little opposition. The collection shows not just that social context alters reception of scientific technologies, but also, more provocatively, that local responses to a medical technology shape scientific research. The collection will interest social scientists, activists, health care professionals and others interested in the politics of sexual and reproductive health. - Alexander Edmonds, assistant professor of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam

About the Author

ANGEL M. FOSTERSenior Associate at Ibis Reproductive Health.LISA L. WYNNLecturer at Macquarie University, Australia.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th March 2012


Angel M. Foster

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Palgrave Macmillan


323 pages


Ethical issues: abortion & birth control

History of medicine
Human rights



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