Knowledge, Power, and New Maternal Health Policies (1918–1945)
The final chapter explores how networks of bio-power expanded in the area of maternal health and became denser from the 1920s up to 1945. The maternal health of the urban poor and rural residents emerged as a national issue in the 1920s, and the bodies of women from less privileged backgrounds were increasingly “colonized” by becoming objects of research and reform. Between 1937 and 1945, the war years, government surveillance of maternal health practices became even more intense with the passage of maternal health-related legislation and the establishment of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Institutions and laws established during this period constituted the foundation for maternal health policies in the second half of the twentieth century.