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Dolgin, Janet L., and Katherine R. Dieterich. “The ‘Other’ Within: Health Care Reform, Class, and The Politics of Reproduction.” Seattle University Law Rev. 35 (2012): 1–47.


In this article, Janet Dolgin and Katherine Dieterich examine recent healthcare reform efforts, including the Affordable Care Act. They claim that these efforts “do not bode well” for the health needs of poor women. To support this claim, the authors set these reforms in the context of the U.S. class system, particularly as in manifests in our healthcare system. They use case studies, including the 2011 prosecution of Kermit Gosnell for gross medical malpractice at his abortion clinic in Philadelphia, and historical background including the Hyde Amendment and 1996 welfare reform. They also outline recent state and federal efforts to restrict access to abortion care and cut funding for family planning. The authors analyze all of these events through a class lens, crediting American society’s treatment of class as an explanation for the oppressive nature of our healthcare policy.  This article provides a clear overview of the many ways in which women’s reproductive health care, particularly poor women’s health care, is hurt by the U.S. healthcare system before and after reform. Although it does not discuss the Affordable Care Act in very much depth, it is a helpful place to start for anyone researching these reforms.


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Legislation/policy   Legal case   Abortion   Health care   History