Linda Gordon’s classic study, The Moral Property of Women, is the most complete history of birth control ever written. It covers the entire history of the intense controversies about reproductive rights that have raged in the United States for more than 150 years, from the earliest attempts of women to organize for the legal control of their bodies to the effects of second-wave feminism. Gordon defines the role that birth control has played in society’s attitudes toward women, sexuality, and gender equality, arguing that reproductive control has always been central to women’s status. She shows how opposition to it has long been part of the conservative opposition to gender equality.
Linda Gordon. The Moral Property of Women: The History of Birth Control Politics in America. University of Illinois Press, 2007.