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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 934; T-542; CD-115; Vt-288; DVD-138

Records of Reproductive Health Technologies Project, 1992-2017

Minutes, reports, correspondence, videotapes, audiotapes, posters, and publications related to the Reproductive Health Technologies Project.

Dates

  • 1992-2017

Language of Materials

Most in English; some material in Spanish.

Physical Description

21,030 megabytes

(41 files)

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Extent

16.06 linear feet ((38 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder, 115 slides, 8 audiotapes, 31 videotapes, 1 CD, 13 DVDs)

The records of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project document the organization's efforts to educate the American public about a variety of birth control methods and to influence the public perception of reproductive health and freedom. Records include workshop materials, survey results and focus group transcripts, proposals, meeting agendas and minutes, posters, photographs, correspondence, promotional materials related to reproductive health, reports, committee files, literature on reproductive health and emergency contraception methods and devices, audiovisual material, a chocolate mold of birth control pills, one button, and electronic records.

The records in this collection highlight the Reproductive Health Technologies Project's work on emergency contraception and RU 486; intrauterine devices; oral contraception; Policy, Advocacy, Legislation, & the Media (PALM) workshops; non-surgical medical abortions; reproductive genetic technologies, such as egg donations and in vitro fertilization; and microbicides and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

This collection also contains oral history interviews conducted by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project founders Marie Bass and Joanne Howes, former presidents Kirsten Moore and Jessica Arons, and several other former board members, staff members, and outside consultants who worked for the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. Topics discussed include RU 486 and emergency contraception, microbicides, the project Moving from Judgement to Empathy, oral contraceptives, and the founding of Reproductive Health Technologies Project.

Original folder titles were maintained; titles in brackets were created by the archivist. The majority of records were received in folders; loose material was arranged by the archivist. Electronic records were received on 22 3.5" disks, 12 CDs, 3 DVDs, and one external hard drive. Disks, CDs, DVDS, and the external hard drive were imaged using FTK Imager and Duke Data Accessioner. Selected data has been converted to PDF/A for preservation and delivery.

The Reproductive Health Technologies Project's web site was harvested between 2016-2017 as part of the Schlesinger Library's web archiving program.

Series I, ADMINISTRATIVE, 1992-2017, n.d. (#1.1-11.16, E.1-E.2), includes board meeting minutes and handouts, nominating committee minutes, by-laws, reports, correspondence, and memoranda. The material in this series documents the organizational structure of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, including the board of directors, the executive committee, the nominating committee, and the office of the president/chief executive officer. Information related to Reproductive Health Technologies Project's programs and projects can be found in program updates (#11.10-11.11), review of programs (#11.13-11.15), and board meeting minutes. This series also contains reports created by the Project.

President and CEO Kirsten Moore's correspondence files include thank you letters to donors and funders, letters to board members and legislators, and contracts with consultants. Records related to the Nominating Committee includes reports, memoranda, and correspondence to board members, letters of resignation from board members, and material related to the other committees of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. These files also contain recruitment letters to potential board members, some of which describe the founding of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project.

This series also contains the guide to the oral history interviews conducted by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project (#8.6). The oral histories can be found in Series III. This series is arranged alphabetically.

Series II, PROJECTS, 1992-2016, n.d. (#11.17-39.5, E.3-E.7), includes memoranda, reports, correspondence, publications, articles, survey results and focus group transcripts, testimonies, conference programs and handouts, and other materials about the projects of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. The organization sustained multiple projects during its operation, including material about the emergency contraception campaigns, non-surgical medical abortions, and microbicides and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Material related to Reproductive Health Technologies Project's Back up Your Birth Control emergency contraception campaign and the emergency contraception hotline includes the Building Emergency Contraception Awareness Among Adolescents: a Toolkit (#16.1), lists of co-sponsors (#15.8), evaluations (#16.3), and public service announcements (#16.9). Audiovisual material related to the emergency contraception campaigns can be found in Series III. Posters and photographs of the emergency contraception campaigns can be found in Series IV.

Other projects detailed in this series include Policy, Advocacy, Legislation, & the Media (PALM) workshops, and Reproductive Health Technologies Project's "Toxic Zombie" project. PALM workshops were held in order to provide participants of the Fellowship in Family Planning program with an opportunity to become familiar with the processes of developing, advocating for, and litigating reproductive health-related legislation. Reproductive Health Technologies Project's "Toxic Zombie" project focused on reducing infertility caused by exposure to toxic household chemicals, through the Kids Safe Chemicals Act.

Other material found in this series includes documents related to Reproductive Health Technologies Project's Reproductive Genetic Technologies program, which focused on creating a framework for regulating the development and use of pre-natal genetic diagnosis and screening technologies in the United States.

This series also contains material related to the surveys and focus groups conducted for the Reproductive Health Technologies Project between 1999 and 2010. Video recordings of the focus groups can be found in Series III. This series is arranged alphabetically by project or topic.

Series III, AUDIOVISUAL, 1992-2017 (#T-542.1-T-542.8, CD-115.1, Vt-288.1-Vt-288.31, DVD-138.1-DVD-138.13, E.8-E.18), includes 8 audiotapes, 31 videotapes, 1 sound disk, 13 DVDs, and 10 edited video files related to the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. This collection includes radio interviews, public service announcements, and radio spots related to the Reproductive Health Technologies Project's emergency contraception campaigns. Also found in this series are video recordings of focus groups. Some of the focus group transcripts can be found in Series II. This series also includes the presentation, Moving from Judgement to Empathy: Frames and Messages that Increase Support for a Woman's Decision, produced by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project.

In 2017, the founders, staff, and former board members of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project conducted oral history interviews to document the organization's history. This series includes the 10 edited video files of these interviews. The descriptions of each video clip included interview descriptions below were taken from the guide to the oral history archives produced by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, which can be found in Series I. This series is arranged by format, then chronologically.

Series IV, MEMORABILIA, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND OVERSIZED, n.d. (#39.6, E.19, F+D.1, OD.1), includes emergency contraception posters, photographs, and an emergency contraception button. Photographs depict the Reproductive Health Technologies Project's emergency contraception campaigns. This series is arranged by format. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.

HISTORY

The Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP), co-founded in 1988 by Marie Bass and Joanne Howes, began as an informal group of scientists, clinicians, policy makers, and activists working together to advance public understanding of the French "abortion pill" RU 486, and other forms of the drug mifepristone. This group of professional women sought to build a broad base of support for this new technology.

Reproductive Health Technologies Project's mission was "to advance the ability of every woman of any age to achieve full reproductive freedom with access to the safest, most effective, appropriate and acceptable technologies for ensuring her own health and controlling her fertility." To fulfill this mission, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project worked towards building a consensus among its board members and their various organizations in support of an education, research, and advocacy agenda for reproductive health and reproductive freedom.

The Reproductive Health Technologies Project, which was based in Washington, DC, was managed, staffed, funded, and directed by the public policy and public affairs consulting firm Bass and Howes until 1992, when the Reproductive Health Technologies Project became an independent non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. The Reproductive Health Technologies Project received most of its funding from The Tides Foundation, as well as grants and donations from other organizations. During the 1990s and 2000s, the Project had four employees and a president/chief executive officer; for special projects, such as their toxic chemicals policy reform campaign, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project often hired consultants. Kirsten Moore, a former program manager at Bass and Howes, served as president and chief executive officer from 1992 until 2012. In 2013, Jessica Arons was named as president and chief executive officer; Arons served until late 2016.

The Reproductive Health Technologies Project was overseen by a board of directors, which included members from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Population Council, the American Public Health Association, the National Women's Health Network, the National Latina Health Organization, and the Black Women's Health Project.

In 1992, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, together with the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, began a national marketing campaign in order to educate women on the availability of emergency contraception as back-up birth control. They launched an emergency contraception hotline in 1996 that provided callers with information on emergency contraception, and contact information for clinicians who could prescribe emergency contraception. Beginning in 1997, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project and Princeton University utilized paid advertising and public service announcements, in conjunction with community-based organizations, in order to inform low-income women of color of the availability of emergency contraception. In 1997, the United States Food and Drug Administration declared emergency contraception a safe and effective manner of back-up birth control.

In 1998, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project focused on educating a wider audience on the methods of non-surgical medical abortions, such as the drugs mifepristone and methotrexate. It also began work on increasing public understanding of microbicides, which could protect women from sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS. Between 1999 and 2010, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project worked with multiple public opinion firms, in order to conduct surveys and focus groups, which evaluated the general public's awareness of emergency contraception, and their opinions regarding abortion. The Reproductive Health Technologies Project also concentrated on other aspects of a woman's reproductive health, including egg donations, in vitro fertilization, and zygote intra-fallopian transfer, which is similar to in vitro fertilization.

In 2001, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project developed Policy, Advocacy, Legislation and the Media (PALM) workshops for participants of the Fellowship in Family Planning program offered at 30 universities around the country, including Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, Boston Medical Center, Columbia University, and Emory University.

In 2009, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project partnered with several organizations, including the South Carolina Coalition for Healthy Families, WV Focus: Reproductive Education & Equality (WV FREE), the West Virginia Reproductive Health Coalition, and Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri, in order to construct a new framework for communicating the pro-choice message. This framework, titled "Moving from Judgment to Empathy," was intended to identify new communications strategies that would assist pro-choice advocates to connect with people on all sides of the abortion debate.

In the fall of 2016, the Board of Directors announced that the Reproductive Health Technologies Project would cease operations in the spring of 2017, due to the array of reproductive health organizations now available to women around the country. Early in 2017, Marie Bass, Joanne Howes, Kirsten Moore, Jessica Arons, Susan Wood, and several other consultants, former board members, and staff members gathered to discuss the founding of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, as well as its major programs, and lessons learned in a series of recorded oral history interviews.

For more information see: Reproductive Health Technologies Project, n.d. (#11.10). Persuasion in the Heartland, 2009 (#11.9).

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in four series:
  1. Series I. Administrative, 1992-2017, n.d. (#1.1-11.16, E.1-E.2)
  2. Series II. Projects, 1992-2016, n.d. (#11.17-39.5, E.3-E.7)
  3. Series III. Audiovisual, 1992-2017 (#T-542.1-T-542.8, CD-115.1, Vt-288.1-Vt-288.31, DVD-138.1-DVD-138.13, E.8-E.18)
  4. Series IV. Memorabilia, photographs, and oversized, n.d. (#39.6, F+D.1,OD.1, E.19)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2015-M67, 2015-M210, 2017-M92, 2017-M187

The records of Reproductive Health Technologies Project were given to the Schlesinger Library between May 2015 and October 2017 by Jessica Arons and Bree Roozen.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Records of Bass and Howes, Inc., 1957-2002 (MC 634).

SEPARATION RECORD

Donors: Jessica Arons and Bree Roozen

Accession numbers: 2015-M67, 2015-M210, 2017-M92, 2017-M187

Processed by: Cat Lea Holbrook

The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection:
  1. CBAS Newsletter: Published by the Cervical Barrier Advancement Society (2004)
  2. Collective Voices: SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective (2005)
  3. Contraceptive Technology Update: A Monthly Newsletter for Health Professionals (1994)
  4. The Development of Microbicides: A New Method of HIV Prevention for Women: The Population Council Programs Division Working Papers (1993)
  5. The Emergency Contraception Newsletter (2004)
  6. Family Building (2003-2005)
  7. International Campaign for a Stop of Research on Anti-fertility 'Vaccines': Women's Global Network on Reproductive Rights campaign report (1994)
  8. Political Environments: A Publication of the Committee of Women, Population, and the Environment (2001)
  9. A Supplement to the Female Patient: A Peer-reviewed Journal (2002)
  10. Womankind's Times: A Publication of the Feminist Women's Health Center (2005)
  11. Women's Health Issues: Official Publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health (2006)

Processing Information

Processed: May 2018

By: Cat Lea Holbrook, with assistance from Anna Hocker, Hannah Weinberg, Natalie Kelsey, and Ashley Thomas.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Link to catalog
Title
Reproductive Health Technologies Project. Records of Reproductive Health Technologies Project, 1992-2017: A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Sponsor
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Zetlin Sisters Fund and the Jane Rainie Opel '50 Fund.
EAD ID
sch01590

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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