Originally called Women and Their Bodies, the initial version is a radical document—not simply because it provided a frank and friendly perspective on taboo topics but because the work was framed by the collective’s anti-capitalist and intersectional perspective. (The group has a copy of the original 192-page text online and it’s well worth a look). The approach to women’s healthcare in Women and Their Bodies reflects too the goals of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. NPR notes that prior to publication, the collective gave presentations on “topics considered taboo at the time, like masturbation, postpartum struggles, and birth control — which was then illegal for unmarried women in Massachusetts.” Publication of Women and Their Bodies turned those quasi-illegal consciousness-raising sessions from small and private to public and accessible, fundamentally changing how women could access information about their bodies.
Read the full story: “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” the Guide That Revolutionized Women’s Health, Will Stop Printing New Editions