Friday, January 16, 2009, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Against Doctors’ Orders: Lesbian Motherhood and the Battle for Medical Authority in the 1970s
Catherine Batza, University of Illinois at Chicago
Commentator: Lane Fenrich, Northwestern University
Lesbians wanting to become mothers in the early 1970s faced a medical and political obstacle course. The sperm bank industry excluded them until the early 1980s forcing them to improvise methods of obtaining sperm and insemination. Beyond the medical barriers, aspiring lesbian mothers faced skepticism and critique from within the larger lesbian community. Unattainable for many at the start of the 1970s, a growing number of lesbians became mothers as the decade progressed. This paper examines this evolution of lesbian motherhood throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, exploring the rise of lesbian motherhood and the medical and political changes it instigated.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524.
Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
*Please note that requests for the paper made after 5:00pm on Thursday, January 8, are unlikely to be read before the seminar begins on Friday afternoon. If you plan to attend the session, please request the paper early.
The Newberry Library Seminar on Women and Gender is co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
The Dr. William M. Scholl
Center for American History and Culture
The Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60610
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