Medicine: Birth Control's 21st

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Foreign Travels. In 1922 Mrs. Sanger started her foreign voyages of propaganda. Of all her successes against the tides of human propagation she is proudest of the birth control leagues and clinics in teeming Japan and China.

Holland, England and the Scandinavian countries have no inhibitions against birth control practices. Spain became somewhat liberal after the Republican Government took charge. Germany was liberal until the Hitler ascendancy.

In 1932 Mrs. Sanger outwitted Premier Mussolini of Italy, who treasures fecundity, by traveling as Mrs. J. Noah H. Slee. "Of course," she gleefully boasted soon as she was beyond his reach: "I did not get into Rome. But I managed to hold many private meetings on birth control. In Venice and Milan I had more demand for secret lectures before women's clubs than I could supply."

Today Mrs. Sanger's birth control groups surge on. They do so partly to bring the channels of information above ground. But they are equally concerned with flushing false information out of those channels. No longer need millions of men and women be persuaded that contraception is good, possible, practicable. No longer do only "immoral" women and men who fear venereal disease use contraceptives. The household demand for contraceptives has made every drugstore in the land, and a multitude of gasoline stations, poolrooms and candy stores supply depots for the material. Most of such items are unreliable. Some are downright dangerous. Consequently the paramount objective of Mrs. Sanger and the American Birth Control League now is to make reliable information and safe contraceptives available to every mature woman who needs them.

¶ The safest and most efficient (96%) technique of contraceptive known must be fitted to the woman who will use it. Only a specially informed physician should do the fitting. There are now 155 birth control clinics in 28 states where women can get fitted and advised. As latitudinarianism spreads through the U. S. fewer physicians fear to tell their patients what they know about contraception.

¶ Religious bodies, bulwarks of morals, at the same time have withdrawn old objections to birth control. Notable groups which have expressly approved: Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, Lambeth Conference of Bishops of the Church of England, General Council of Congregational and Christian Churches, Universalist General Convention, American Unitarian Association, Central Conference of American Rabbis, several regional conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

¶ The American Medical Association, however, has resolutely refused to deal with the birth control movement or to investigate the virtues or dangers of various contraceptive materials and methods. But obstetricians, gynecologists and neurologists approve the whole movement.

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