Celebrating 30 Years of Feminist Publishing on Health and Sexuality
For thirty years, the Montreal Health Press has been providing Canadian and American men and women with clear information on health, sexuality, reproductive rights—not only the facts but the analysis and social context which give meaning to the facts. The Montreal Health Press's origins date back to 1968, when a group of courageous and dedicated students at McGill University produced the first Birth Control Handbook and distributed it to the entire student body. This happened at a time when dissemination of information about contraception was illegal. With its frank discussion of birth control, sexuality, and abortion, the handbook became an instant hit on campuses across North America, influencing an entire generation.
From this student beginning, the Montreal Health Press emerged. A feminist collective who saw their mandate as mass distribution of information on healthy sexuality, they went on to produce three other titles: VD Handbook (1972), Sexual Assault (1979) and A Book about Menopause (1988). In each case, the publications were at the vanguard, setting the standard for debate and for community services. All four titles were also made available in French. Over 15 million copies of the handbooks have been produced, making them amongst the most successful titles in Canadian publishing history. Over the years, the Health Press has continued to operate as a non-profit organization and as a collective, updating the handbooks and providing them to health and educational organizations for their clientele at the lowest possible price. In these days of cutbacks to public spending, their survival has often been a struggle and bears witness to the critical role these publications continue to play.
In 1997, all four English publications were updated. Sexual Assault and Menopause Handbook were extensively revised (English and French) and given a new layout and photos, making them more attractive and easier to read. An anniversary edition of the Birth Control Handbook will be available, with new layout and photos, this fall. The Health Press encourages clinics, schools, and community groups to distribute these important Handbooks. The people who depended on the Birth Control Handbook in the 70s are grateful that the Montreal Health Press is still there to help them through menopause.
Ordering Information: Single copies: $5 each, cheque or money order. Bulk orders can be as low as $1/copy. Check the web site or call for details. Montreal Health Press, P.O. Box 1000, Station Place du Pare, Montreal, QC Canada H2W 2N1, Tel: 514-282-1171, Fax: 514-282-0262. http://www.worldsfinest.com/mhp. Give a copy to someone whose health you care about!