KILLEEN, Texas — Texas' recent ban on abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy has stirred a lot of conversation when it comes to women's health.
One researcher is pushing to be part of this conversation in an effort for us to better understand women's needs. Soon, Dr. Stephanie Peebles Tavera will release a book on women and medicine.
"I write a lot about reproductive health and mothering and my experience with postpartum depression," Dr. Tavera explained.
Her book is getting a lot of attention in higher education.
"The book starts on women's writing from 1873 forward, and that's because 1873 was the year that the Comstock Law passed and it's the first law in U.S. history that legalized what can and can not be said about women's bodies," Tavera said. "It controlled access to birth control for instance."
Her book is called "(P)rescription Narratives: Feminist Medical Fiction and the Failure of American Censorship." It goes on sale in March 2022 and officially comes out in September 2022.
"I noticed that after the passing of the Comstock Law in 1873, there were a number of women writers who began producing works of fiction and they were dealing with reproductive health issues like birth control and menstruation and puberty," Tavera said.
She teaches at A&M-Central Texas. In her research, Tavera analyzes laws that have impacted women's access to medical resources.
She says Texas' recent ban on abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy is one of the latest examples.
Women researchers like Tavera are pushing to be part of this conversation in an effort for us to better understand women's health needs.
"How can you look for and understand and pay attention to those experiences if you haven't had that experience yourself? So I think it's really important to have women involved in the conversation, women scholars involved in the conversation," Tavera said. "Because of their personal experiences and the way that they bring that into the experience of reading and how it highlights things for them that others might miss."
Students such as Danea Dameron agree. Dameron is working on earning her graduate degree in humanities.
"With women being in the field, in the conversation or leading the forefront of the conversation, it allows them to reclaim themselves," Dameron said.