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Health Policy in a Time of Crisis


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Table of Contents

1. People, Policy & Practice 2. Catalunya, Crisis, and Cuts 3. Uneasy Collaboration 4. Las Dones (The Women) 5. Enfrentando Obstáculos (Confronting Obstacles)

About the Author

Bayla Ostrach is an Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice, appointed in the Family Medicine Department at Boston University School of Medicine. An applied medical anthropologist by training, their research is designed to be returned to affected communities that seek to prompt changes in policy and practice.


"This exceptionally well-written and engaging ethnography... provides a unique example of engagement in medical anthropology... This promising first book will speak to a wide audience, offering insights for discussions in research methods and ethics classes from all disciplines, and the fields of medical and applied anthropology, women and gender studies, and public health and migration studies, to name a few."
Mounia El Kotni, Anthropology Book Forum (American Anthropological Association)"Health Policy in a Time of Crisis is a compelling portrait of lived experiences following legal and economic reforms as recounted by those most affected. The voices of marginalized women echo throughout the narratives framing the paradox of expanded legal access and inclusion within the public health system against the reality of bureaucratic constraints that structure (and limit) access to care. Grounded in Critical Medical Anthropology’s call to unmask inequalities reproduced even in optimal settings, Ostrach explores what happens when women who are ostensibly guaranteed legal, funded abortions nevertheless encounter obstacles— economic, political, and social. Abortion care here functions as a lens through which we gain a broader understanding of the ways women navigate suboptimal and discriminatory health bureaucracies. Ostrach makes an important contribution to the anthropology of reproduction, with critical implications for other fields including feminist anthropology, gender and public health and health policy. I look forward to using it in my classes."
Melissa Cheyney, Oregon State University, USA

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