‘Voodoo biology’: The right-to-life campaign against family planning programs in the United States in the 1980s

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Title X, a federal program funding family planning services in the United States, had broad popular and political support throughout the 1970s. But in the early 1980s, it was subjected to a relentless campaign by anti-abortionists, most notably the Catholic absolutist Judie Brown. Brown blended social with economically conservative rhetoric, attempting to persuade Republican President Ronald Reagan and the broader right-to-life movement that attacking Title X was a legitimate means of targeting its largest recipient, Planned Parenthood. In highlighting Brown's activism and lobbying, and the actions of pro-lifers within the bureaucracy, this article illuminates the strategies of socially conservative women and their place within the contemporary Right. It also historicizes conservative interest in family planning and demonstrates the tension within the Reagan Revolution as single-issue activists struggled to compel the administration to match words with actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-356
Number of pages27
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Title X
  • anti-abortionists
  • planned parenthood

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