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March is Women’s History Month, which means throughout the month HEB will highlight premiere titles in Women’s Studies that can be found in our collection. If you would like a Women’s Studies specific title list from HEB, please email Chris Plattsmier. Also, don’t forget you can recommend a title for inclusion in the HEB collection on our title recommendation page.

Reproductive rights are a topic of intense discussion in the social and political spheres today. In order to truly understand the contemporary issues around reproductive rights, one has to delve into the history of abortion, birth control, and women’s rights in the US and around the world. In an article in The Atlantic from 1997, Katha Pollitt writes,

“Of all the issues roiling the ongoing culture wars, abortion is both the most intimate and the most common.”

Pollitt briefly summarizes the history of abortion in the past few centuries in America and frequently cites a title in the HEB collection, When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and the Law in the United States, 1867-1973, by Leslie J. Reagan (University of California Press, 1997).

For improved dialogue and policy around these issues in the US, t is important to broaden the scope of these issues both in time and place. The featured titles below discuss the history and impact of reproductive rights in Japan, Germany, and England in different time periods. The role reproductive rights have played for women of color in America is also a separate topic in its own right. Browse the titles below to see how scholars have wrestled with this wide-reaching topic. For further study,  browse more titles relating to women, gender issues, and women’s roles in religion from the HEB collection on Pinterest.


  1. See “Abortion in American History” by Katha Pollit (The Atlantic, May 1997) for complete article.