Family planning, the pill, and reproductive agency in Italy, 1945-1971: From 'conscious procreation' to 'a new fundamental right'?

Bracke, M. A. (2021) Family planning, the pill, and reproductive agency in Italy, 1945-1971: From 'conscious procreation' to 'a new fundamental right'? European Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire, (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

The article analyses post-war family planning campaigning in Italy and the legalization of the Pill (1971), in order to illustrate wider processes of change in sexual norms and practices, the feminization of contraception, and the emergence of notions of individual rights in procreation. Situating the Italian family planning movement as part of a transnational network and a global agenda, it problematizes understandings of family planning as a site of individual liberation only, highlighting the hierarchization of reproductive bodies that underpinned the campaigns of many family planning activists. Drawing on archives, publications and memoirs by family planners in Italy and the US, this is the first scholarly analysis of the Italian family planning movement’s role in the (illegal) distribution of contraception and sexual information, as well as its key contribution to the legalization of the Pill. The article aims to offer an original contribution to the socio-political negotiation of reproductive agency in the post-war period, set against the backdrop of the globalization of demographic debate, secularization, changing gender roles and new medical technologies.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This work was supported by The Leverhulme Trust, International Academic Fellowship [IAF 2020-014].
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bracke, Dr Maud
Authors: Bracke, M. A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:European Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:1350-7486
ISSN (Online):1469-8293
Published Online:11 October 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author(s)
First Published:First published European Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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