Leslie J. Reagan
Professor of History, Medicine, Gender and Women's Studies, and Law
Leslie J. Reagan, \ professor of history, medicine, gender and women's studies, and law, specializes in the history of medicine, U.S. women's history, the history of sexuality, and 20th century U.S. social history. In 2012, she was named a University Scholar, the highest award the University gives for scholarship, teaching, and service.
Her most recent book is Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America (2010) which has won several awards, including the Joan Kelly Award from the American Historical Association and the Eileen Basker Memorial Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropology Association. An article from the book that appeared in Law and History Review received honorable mention for the journal's Surrency Prize. Dangerous Pregnancies is about German measles (rubella), which, if contracted by a pregnant woman, can cause miscarriages, early child deaths, and birth defects in the newborn child. The book shows the medical, cultural, and political consequences of this disease and the role it played in both the early abortion rights movement and the disability rights movement for the education of children with disabilities.
Professor Reagan joined the Illinois history faculty in 1992 and is a member of the Medical Humanities and Social Sciences Program in the College of Medicine. Her current research focuses on the history of illegal abortion, the intersections between law and medicine, and social and legal issues relating to breast cancer and public health.