5 episodes

Norplant was the first subdermal implantable contraceptive device. It consisted of six silicone rubber rods filled with a hormone. When the device was inserted under the skin of a woman's arm, Norplant prevented pregnancies for up to five years. This podcast examines Norplant’s history, and more specifically the way governmental institutions used the contraceptive device to control certain populations of women’s bodies.

Choice or Coercion: The Biography of Norplant Justina Licata

    • History
    • 5.0 • 20 Ratings

Norplant was the first subdermal implantable contraceptive device. It consisted of six silicone rubber rods filled with a hormone. When the device was inserted under the skin of a woman's arm, Norplant prevented pregnancies for up to five years. This podcast examines Norplant’s history, and more specifically the way governmental institutions used the contraceptive device to control certain populations of women’s bodies.

    Episode Four: The Welfare Incentive Proposals

    Episode Four: The Welfare Incentive Proposals

    This episode examines state lawmakers’ efforts to implement programs that would pay welfare recipients to use Norplant. The politicians proposing these programs argued that no woman would be pressured into choosing Norplant. Conversely, reproductive justice activists maintained that paying poor women to choose one contraceptive over another took the choice out of their decision. This episode also features some of my conversation with the reproductive justice activist, Brandi Collins-Calhoun.

    • 29 min
    Episode Three: Baltimore's Norplant Program

    Episode Three: Baltimore's Norplant Program

    In 1992, Baltimore's health commissioner initiated a program that allowed some public school's health clinics to prescribe Norplant to their teenage students. The local government hoped this program would lessen the city's high teenage pregnancy rates, but they failed to predict the contentious debate it would produce. This episode features portions of my conversation with six UNC Greensboro students. To see visuals related to this episode, please follow us on Instagram at @choice_or_coercion.

    • 22 min
    Episode Two: Darlene Johnson's Case

    Episode Two: Darlene Johnson's Case

    One month after Norplant’s FDA approval, in January 1991, Howard Broadman, a California county judge ordered Darlene Johnson, a twenty-eight-year-old African American pregnant mother of four, to have Norplant inserted into her arm for three years as part of her probation.​ This episode examines Johnson's case and the complicated national debate it generated. 
     
    Thank you to Frank Licata for lending his voiceover skills to this episode. 

    • 15 min
    Episode One: Norplant's Development

    Episode One: Norplant's Development

    Norplant was the first subdermal implantable contraceptive device. It consisted of six silicone rubber rods filled with a hormone. When inserted under the skin of a woman's arm, Norplant prevented pregnancies for up to five years. In this first episode, historian, Justina Licata, looks at Norplant's development and testing trials leading up to the drug's FDA approval in 1990. It focuses on Norplant’s early connections to the population control movement.

    • 13 min
    Introducing: Choice or Coercion: The Biography of Norplant

    Introducing: Choice or Coercion: The Biography of Norplant

    Norplant was the first subdermal implantable contraceptive device. It consisted of six silicone rubber rods filled with a hormone. When inserted under the skin of a woman's arm, Norplant prevented pregnancies for up to five years. This podcast examines Norplant’s history, and more specifically the way governmental institutions used the contraceptive device to control certain populations of women’s bodies. Please subscribe and start listening on May 14.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

TLDMusic ,

Educational for All

Dr. Licata’s research is absolutely riveting. The complicated issues presented are so important to understanding the history of the eugenics / population control movements, and questioning what the role is of "choice" when there are competing interests in the production of the means of said "choice."

Rodfrigginrigo ,

Heck Yes!

Such an interesting topic and so relevant to current issues facing women. Dr. Licata manages to present the topic in a way that is engaging and informative. I enjoyed how well researched the podcast is and really appreciated hearing the stories and perspectives of women who’s lives were impacted by Norplant.

bcourt29 ,

All Women Should Listen

As someone who has dealt with contraception issues in the 21st century, I believe women should understand the issues that began in the 20th century. It was not that long ago and shows that the medical industry and society still have a long way to go to make this better.

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