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Women's Health Clinics

The history and emergence of women's health clinics in the United States is embedded in the history of the women's movement and particularly the women's health movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This history tells a story of women acting collectively (1) to critique control of their reproductive health and normal physiological processes by the male-dominated medical and legal professions and for-profit market forces; and (2) to seize control of their bodies through the development of women-operated and women-centered health clinics to educate and empower women, neutralize medicalization, and optimize women's healthcare choices. Women's clinics sought to shift the balance of power between physicians and women by connecting women consumers with midwives, nurse practitioners, and community counselors who shared feminist philosophies and values. By the ...

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