Ph.D. University of North Carolina, 1996
At Rutgers Since 2011
001 Van Dyck Hall
My major interests are the history of women and medicine, the history of reproductive rights, and the history of sexuality. My research traces women’s health and reproductive care through the twentieth century. My book, Choice and Coercion: Birth Control, Sterilization, and Abortion in Public Health and Welfare, examines the role which birth control, sterilization, and abortion played in public health and welfare policies between the 1920s and the 1970s.
In 2002, I shared her research on the history of eugenic sterilization in North Carolina with a journalist from the Winston Salem Journal. North Carolina's sterilization program ran from the 1920s to the 1970s and led to the sterilization of more than 7000 people. The paper ran a week-long series of articles on the subject (http://againsttheirwill.journalnow.com/) which ultimately resulted in an official apology by the governor of North Carolina. In 2007, I designed an exhibit on North Carolina’s eugenic sterilization program which opened that year in the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh and is now on exhibit in the North Carolina Office of State Archives and History. Currently, North Carolina is discussing the possibility of restitution payments to sterilization victims – the first state in the country to take such a step.
My current work traces the history of abortion from the late 1960s to the present. My forthcoming book, Abortion After Legalization, will analyze the long-term impact which the abortion conflict has had on health care delivery and women’s access to the procedure. In addition, I am writing a biography of Susan Hill who was the founder, president and CEO of the National Women’s Health Organization – the biggest umbrella group of abortion clinics after Planned Parenthood.
My research has been supported by, among others, the Social Science Research Council, the Iowa Arts and Humanities Initiative, the American Philosophical Society, and the NEH.
- 512:391 History of Medicine in Film
- 512:225 Sexuality in America
- Colloquium: Women&Gender: Sexuality
- Abortion Since Legalization, 1970-2000 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press: forthcoming 2013).
- “Re-Assessing Eugenic Sterilization: The Case of North Carolina,” in A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana Experiment to the Human Genome Era, ed. by Paul Lombardo (University of Indiana Press, 2010).
- "Birth Control in Public Health," in Silent Victories: The History and Practice of Public Health in the Twentieth Century America, ed. by John Ward and Christian Warren, (Oxford University Press, 2007): 279-303.
- “From the Footnotes to the Headlines: Sterilization Apologies and Their Lessons,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC 3, no. 3 (Sept. 2006).
- Choice and Coercion: Birth Control, Sterilization, and Abortion in Public Health and Welfare in the Twentieth Century, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).
- “Between Choice and Coercion: Women and the Politics of Sterilization,” Journal of Women’s History 13, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 132-56.
- American Historical Association
- Organization of American Historians
- American Association for the History of Medicine
- American Society for Bioethics and Humanities