The politics of reproductive benefits: U.S. insurance coverage of contraceptive and infertility treatments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent changes in access to contraceptive and infertility treatments in the state of Illinois, and across the United States more generally, have heightened class cleavages in access to reproductive health care benefits in the United States. Using data gleaned from government testimonies, public documents, and telephone interviews, the authors found that poor women have broad access to contraceptive coverage but very little access to infertility treatments, while working-and middle-class women have increasingly broad coverage of infertility treatments but spare coverage of contraceptives. These findings suggest that while the extreme measures of the eugenics movement are less frequently in evidence, class differences in access to reproductive services lead to an equally dualistic, albeit unstated, fertility policy in the United States: encouraging births among working-and middle-class families and discouraging births among the poor, particularly those on Medicaid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-30
Number of pages23
JournalGender and Society
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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