Barbara Seaman biography
SynopsisAfter graduating from Oberlin College, Barbara Seaman (nee Rosner) began reporting on the dangers of high-dose estrogen birth control pills in the 1960s. Her first book, The Doctor's Case Against the Pill (1969) led to the development of a new, lower estrogen, generation of the drugs. In 1975, she helped found the National Women's Health Network to publicize the effects of synthetic estrogen.
Foray into WritingWriter and social activist. Born Barbara Rosner on September 11, 1935, in New York, New York. Barbara Seaman became famous for challenging the medical establishment on issues related to women’s health and for establishing the National Women’s Health Network.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Barbara Seaman began making waves in 1960s with her reporting on medical issues, such as birth control. She wrote for several magazines and newspapers, including Ladies’ Home Journal and Family Circle. Seaman worked to make sure that women got all of the information they needed to make informed decisions about their personal well being.
First Book PublishedBarbara Seaman’s first book, The Doctors’ Case Against the Pill (1969), explored the possible dangerous side effects of taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills. Her work - along with the efforts of other health advocates - encouraged changes in birth control, leading to the creation of birth control with lower estrogen levels. She wrote about women’s sexuality in her second book, Free and Female (1972).
National Women's Health NetworkAs a feminist and health activist, Barbara Seaman worked with Belita Cowan on developing an organization that would support and promote the women’s health movement. She became one of the founders of what is now known as the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) in 1975. Seaman and other NWHN members brought awareness to the hazards of hormone replacement therapy as well as the risks of a birth control birth pill known as DES through demonstrations, congressional hearings, and other advocacy means. The group has worked on behalf of women’s health issues for more than thirty years.
Written with her first husband, psychiatrist Gideon Seaman, Barbara Seaman continued to get the word on the dangers of estrogen with her books How to Get Off the Pill and Hormones and Be Better Than Ever (1976) and Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones (1977). These works helped cement her reputation as a leading feminist and health advocate.
Warnings about HRTAfter a brief turn as a biographer in the 1980s, Barbara Seaman returned to the topic closest to her heart - health - in For Women Only! (1999) written in collaboration with health and fitness expert Gary Null. Her work came full circle with 2003’s The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth. Once dismissed for her concerns about estrogen usage, Seaman showed readers once again about the dangers of hormones and hormone replacement therapy supported by the latest medical research.
Continuing to work in the interest of women’s health and women in general, Barbara Seaman has served on the boards and committees of several organizations and initiatives, such as the Feminist Press and the Women’s Health Newsletter. She has also made numerous media appearances over the years on television and on radio.
Barbara Seaman has three children from her first marriage to Gideon Seaman: Noah, Elana, and Shira. The couple separated in 1978 and later divorced. Seaman married Milton Forman in 1982.