From Zipper Ring to Tatum T: Intra-Uterine Devices, Men of Science, and Women in Need
New transnational scientific and political paradigms informed the everyday stories of women’s lives in Chile and increased their range of choices about how to prevent pregnancies. Yet, their reproductive choices were compromised when transnational debates on population control informed medical research goals and policy making. Focusing on the development of IUDs, and drawing on histories of medical doctors and population planners (“men of science”) who were active in Europe and the Americas, I focus on the tensions between the goals that set apart men of science from “women in need” – the latter representing the key people whose everyday stories I seek to explore. My analysis links scientific medical developments, the Zipper Ring in Chile, and the Tatum-T, the first IUD on the market in the United States, to demographic concerns of the Cold War and to the demographic debates that informed the decisions Chilean women could make about their lives.
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