The women’s health movement of the 1960s and 1970s transformed the doctor-patient relationship and yielded the novel concept that women can take control of their own health, says Laurie Edwards in this excerpt from “In the Kingdom of the Sick.”…
For women, this change started with the radical notion that they had a right to know about their own bodies, had a right to control their own health care and belonged in medical schools where they could fully participate in the very health care decisions that have such significance in their lives. The grassroots women’s health activism that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s was fostered by an equally diverse group of advocates, among them middle-class white women, middle- and working-class African Americans, lesbians and heterosexuals.
Remember that scene in Mad Men, where Betty’s doctor calls Don & talks to him about Betty as if she were the child? This is how we got away from that.
“Feminism challenged social practices in the doctor’s office and recast relationships between compliant patient and infallible physician as part of the larger process to keep women down.”
But we must also look at this history and see how we are moving backwards in America; this is also a dire warning about where we are headed.
“The landmark court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973 by finding that preventing a woman’s right to end her pregnancy violated her due process, was a pivotal piece of legislation in terms of reproductive rights, women’s health and women’s ability to make decisions regarding their bodies. ”
See on womensenews.org
Image: Nicole Marie Edine on Flickr.