The Search for a Science of Infancy
Kett, Joseph F.
Hastings Center Report. 1984 Apr; 14(2): 34-39.
Historical changes in attitudes toward childbirth, child welfare, the status of malformed newborns, unwanted pregnancies, and infant care are surveyed. In the early twentieth century, a coalition of social workers and public health physicians took the lead in the U.S. in demanding federal intervention to establish childbirth and infant care on a scientific basis, leading to passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921, which called for matching grants to stimulate states to adopt the registration of births and various prenatal care and infant care measures. Traditional conservatives and the organized medical profession opposed the act, which ended in 1929. Recent decades have seen an even greater polarization of attitudes toward childbirth and the family, further interfering with efforts to put all issues relating to infancy on a scientific and presumably unarguable basis. (KIE abstract)
Abortion; Allowing to Die; Attitudes; Child Abuse; Childbirth; Children; Congenital Disorders; Family Relationship; Health; Health Care; Historical Aspects; Infanticide; Infants; International Aspects; Newborns; Physicians; Political Activity; Pregnant Women; Prenatal Care; Public Health; Public Policy; Rights; Science; Social Workers; Values; Women's Rights;
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