Women, Health, and Nation: Canada and the United States Since 1945

Women, Health, and Nation
Edited by Georgina Feldberg, Molly Ladd-Taylor, Alison Li and Kathryn McPherson

Part of the McGill-Queen’s/Associated Medical Services Studies in the History of Medicine, Health, and Society (number 16 in series)
448 Pages, 6 x 9,  ISBN 9780773525016,  April 2003, Formats: Paperback, Cloth, eBook

A rich collection exploring how national health-care differences have influenced women’s lives and informed feminist politics since 1945.

How have women in Canada and the US experienced and influenced health care since 1945? Did Canada’s national health insurance system lead to fundamental differences in health care? Women, Health, and Nation examines North American women’s engagement with their health systems and asks to what extent national citizenship has shaped women’s health.

Authors provide a much-needed analysis of the dynamic decades after 1945, when both Canada and the United States began using federal funds to expand health-care access, and biomedical research and authority reached new heights. Focusing on a wide range of issues – including childbirth, abortion and sterilization, palliative care, pharmaceutical regulation, immigration, and Native health care – these essays illuminate the ironic promise of biomedicine, postwar transformations in reproduction, the varied work and belief-systems of female health-care providers, and national differences in women’s health activism.

Contributors include Aline Charles (Laval University), Barbara Clow (independent scholar), Laura E. Ettinger (Clarkson University), Georgina Feldberg (York University), Karen Flynn (York University), Vanessa Northington Gamble (Association of American Medical Colleges), Elena R. Gutiérrez (University of Illinois, Chicago), Molly Ladd-Taylor (York University), Alison Li (independent scholar), Maureen McCall (physician, Nepal), Michelle L. McClellan (University of Georgia), Kathryn McPherson (York University), Dawn Dorothy Nickel (University of Alberta), Heather Munro Prescott (Central Connecticut State University), Leslie J. Reagan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Susan M. Reverby (Wellesley College), Susan L. Smith (University of Alberta), Ann Starr (visual artist and writer), and Judith Bender Zelmanovits (York University).

A fine book covering a wide swathe of important health and biomedical issues. Each author eloquently deals with the topic at hand, contributing original and scholarly work. Together, they find a niche as a collection of analyses that focuses on the cross-cutting complexities of the recent past in women’s health. This is a wonderful collection.
Antonia Maioni, director, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University

This was a pleasure to read. The issues raised are crucial to current health policy debates, but, equally important, the stories used to analyze the issues are intrinsically interesting.
Kathleen Jones, Department of History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Women, Health, and Nation is a valuable addition to the history of postwar North America and will be welcomed by scholars and their students
Maureen Lux, Journal of Canadian Studies