|About the Book|
Since its founding in 1942, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Americas organizational rhetoric and its clinic literature has situated discourses of family planning and contraception within the confines of the two-parent, Judeo-Christian family.MoreSince its founding in 1942, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Americas organizational rhetoric and its clinic literature has situated discourses of family planning and contraception within the confines of the two-parent, Judeo-Christian family. Planned Parenthoods rhetoric, moreover, deployed constructions of ideal families that were shaped by contingent historical understandings of class, race, and gender. The organizations rhetoric from its founding in 1942 to the legalization of abortion in 1973 was concerned with what constituted highly-particularized notions of ideal parenthood, who deserved to be considered a citizen, and how middle-class parenting was the ultimate act of social responsibility. As its name suggests, the organizations rhetoric produced discursive images of both parents, and its birth control discourse offered conceptions of ideal fathers, who acted alongside ideal mothers to raise the kinds of families Planned Parenthood argued could be of service to the nation.-Throughout the time period under consideration, Planned Parenthoods rhetoric disseminated evolving notions of ideal parents, changing conceptions of social and economic responsibility, and shifting understandings of the morality of birth control and abortion. Planned Parenthoods rhetoric from 1942 to 1973 constructed conceptions of idealized parents deeply imbricated in particular postwar notions of race, class, and American Judeo-Christian morality. The mainstream birth control movement as it was represented by Planned Parenthoods discourse was a movement concerned with nationalism, natalism, and the preservation of the family. Consequently, Planned Parenthood became an organization that did not transform womens roles. Rather, it conserved the sanctity of the American family and helped to anchor mothers firmly to their homes. Planned Parenthoods rhetoric advanced a narrow definition of rights in the context of reproduction because only husbands and wives had the freedom to use contraception, and, in the rhetoric of the organization, these tools were for family planning purposes only. From 1942 to 1973, Planned Parenthoods discourses prominently featured the two-parent family, enshrining middle-class parents and forging a link between contraception and citizenship.