Karissa Patton 2019 crop

Con(tra)ceptualizing care: Birth control centres, feminist models of healthcare, and reproductive politics in Southern Alberta, 1969-1979

Karissa Patton

Award: 2019 Doctoral Completion Award

Following the provincial implementation of medicare and the federal decriminalization of birth control in 1969, feminist birth control centres took up the provision of reproductive health services and education throughout the 1970s in the province of Alberta. Activists at these birth control centres created feminist models of healthcare and provided important health services locally and provincially between 1969 and 1979. Examining the relationships between activist service providers, their clients, medical professionals, and various levels of the State illuminates the politics of whiteness and respectability, debates about professionalism, struggles for sisterhood in the 1970s feminist movement, and the significant way stigma shaped activist and state responses to reproductive health services provincially and beyond.