Medicine: Birth Control's 21st

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¶ Heretofore, only form of birth control which the Roman Catholic Church permitted was continence. Lately Professors Kyusaku Ogino (Japan) and Herman Knaus (Austria) propounded a theory that a woman can be impregnated only during eight days of her cycle, that during the remaining 19 to 24 days she is not apt to conceive. This system of intermittent continence fits perfectly with the word of God, say Catholic authorities. Sixty thousand copies of a single exposition of the Ogino-Knaus rhythm theory and rules have been sold. The originators say that their system is more than 90% positive if their rules are scrupulously followed. Mrs. Sanger says that Ogino-Knaus technique is less than 40% certain.

¶ Despite furtiveness, commerce in contraceptives has become big business. More than 300 manufacturers today are engaged in it. One distributor of "feminine hygiene" products last year offered Mrs. Sanger $250,000 to give five-minute radio talks on any subject she pleased. She rejected the offer. Three "feminine hygiene" manufacturers last year spent $250,000 advertising in general magazines alone. Five makers of one device sold $35,000,000 worth last year. What the whole commerce amounts to is beyond computation, for most of the business remains furtive.

Abortions. A potent Sanger argument for unrestricted use of contraceptives is that women who do not want babies resort to secret abortions. She estimates that 4,000,000 U. S. women have themselves | aborted each year. Dr. Frederick Joseph Taussig of St. Louis, President Hoover's special investigator of the subject, puts the number at 700,000.* Probably 15,000 U. S. women die each year on account of faulty abortions.

To study the biggest and best abortoriums in the world, Mrs. Sanger last August went to Russia. What she saw there caused her pertly to warn Joseph Stalin and other virile Russians: "Abortions make women nervous. It is common knowledge that the practice of abortion, if it becomes a habit, can do considerable harm to woman's sex life. Neuroses may develop and these in turn may result in frigidity. In this country woman is no longer economically dependent on man. If she becomes frigid, she will not be dependent on him in any other way and, in fact, will no longer be interested in him. Yet there is an honesty and lack of hypocrisy about the Soviet policy with respect to abortions which should be noted with approval."

Says Mrs. Sanger: "I don't know how most of my ventures in this work were ever financed. I am of no economical turn of mind. I do things first, and somehow or other they get paid for."

*In 1918 Dr. Stopes married rich Humphrey Verdon Roe, pioneer designer of airplanes, who finances her birth control propaganda in England.

*"Somewhat over 2,000,000 babies are born alive in the U. S. each year.

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