Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume 3, Number 2, Fall 1992
pp. 274-284 | 10.1353/hpu.2010.0241
The history of African-American women's efforts to control their fertility is largely unknown. From slavery to the present, the growth rate of the African-American population has been cut in half. Demographers and historians frequently attribute this change to external factors such as poverty, disease, and coerced birth control, rather than the deliberate agency of African-American women. This essay assembles a brief historical record of the ways African-American women have sought to control their fertility through the use of abortion and birth control. It also examines the activism of African-American women in the establishment of family planning clinics and in defense of abortion rights.