Margaret Sanger, "Birth Control," [1944] .

Published Article. Source: Britannica Book of the Year (Chicago, 1944), pp. 110-111. .

For a typed version see Margaret Sanger Microfilm Edition, S72:0372 and 0375.


Birth Control.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., formerly the Birth Control Federation of America, Inc. made marked advances in 1943, concentrating on five programs of activity.

Public Health.

-- Five more states initiated cooperative efforts with the federation to include pregnancy spacing in their public health services -- bringing the total number of states to eleven. The federation became a member of the National Health Council.

Clinical Service. -- On Dec. 1, 1943 birth control services totalled 786; 211 in hospitals; 286 in public health quarters; 288 extra-mural; 372 of total supported in whole or part by public funds. Services for treatment of sterility were listed in the federation’s Clinic Directory.

Industrial Hygiene.

-- Absenteeism, due often to pregnancy or induced abortion, became an acute problem in many areas, as millions of women went into war work. the division of industrial hygiene, U.S.P.H. service, recommended, in an outline for use in industry, that “advice on the proper spacing of children, as a means of protecting the health of the mother and her children”, be given married women workers, by counsellors in plants. Dr. Eva Dodge, the federation’s assistant medical director, surveyed a number of plants, and, in co-operation with the Alabama state health department, assisted in preparing two pamphlets on this problem, for use by workers and management. A radio transcription, “Freedom From Fear”, dealing with the problem of absenteeism, due to pregnancy, was produced by the federation for use of its state leagues.

Education.

Medical. -- Over 11,000 copies of Dr. Robert L. Dickinson’s pamphlet, “Techniques of Conception Control”, were sent on request to physicians, bringing the total to 56,000 issued on request to this group, and 17,000 were sent to registered nurses on request.

Birth control training institutes for public health nurses were held in Florida, Delaware and North Carolina.

Research. -- Although no new discoveries were made during the year, a special committee of the council on pharmacy and chemistry of the American Medical Association continued research in chemical contraceptives, and the council on physical therapy initiated a co-operative program dealing with mechanical articles and devices. Reports appear in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. for Dec. 18, 1943.

Social Work. -- A new pamphlet, “The Case Worker and Family Planning”, was sent upon request to 2,000 social workers. The federation participated, as a kindred group, in the National Conference of Social Work. A newly formed advisory committee directed work in this field.

Negro Program. -- The division of Negro Service, with its advisory council of 46, and sponsoring committee of 146 members, representing national professional, medical, religious and civic leadership, was strengthened, and a pamphlet, “Better Health for 13,000,000" published, reporting on the program of family planning for Negroes.

Religious. -- The National Clergymen’s Advisory council was organized with almost 1000 members from 46 states. Organization of the council, and election of officers was undertaken, and a pamphlet on “Marriage Counsel”, for use of the clergy published.

Teaching in Medical Schools.

-- To stimulate better teaching of contraception in medical schools, Dr. W.E. Brown of Cincinnati Medical School, visited 26 grade A colleges, for the federation, finding some teaching of the subject in each. His teaching Syllabus was distributed to grade A schools throughout the U.S., 45% of which were giving some instruction in 1943.

State Organizations.

--In 9 affiliated states, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Missouri, programs were broadened and strengthened by addition of professional staff members and executives. One more state, Ohio, became affiliated, bringing the total to 34.

Legal. -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused the Tileston case involving the right of Connecticut doctors to advise contraceptives where life or health were threatened.

Massachusetts Referendum. -- Although over half a million votes were cast in its favour, the referendum to amend the state law so that doctors might legally advise patients on contraception failed of passage.

International.

-- The war made organized work in occupied Europe impossible. In Great Britain educational work, clinical service and research were continued by the Family Planning Association. In Australia the law passed in 1942 did not interfere with clinical work. Health boards in Bermuda planned wider disemination of birth control information, to cope with the problem of overpopulation there.

Birth rates fell in most of Europe but were higher than in years in Great Britain. In the United States they were higher than for 20 years past. (See also Birth Statistics)

Bibliography.

-- Upham, J.H.J., M.D., Teaching of Contraceptive Measures in Small Colleges, Jl. Assn. Med. Coll. Sept. 1943.

Alabama State Bd. Health. The Molly Pitchers of This War. Ibid. Employing the Married Woman Worker.

Planned Parenthood Federation. Better Health for 13,000,000. Ibid. The Case Worker and Family Planning.

Brown, Royal L., M.D., and Gamble, C.J., M.D. Studies of Spermicidal Times of Contraceptive Materials. Human Fertility 8: March 1943.

Goldstein, Leopold Z., M.D. Jelly Alone as Contraceptive in Post-Partum Cases. Human Fertility 8: June 1943.

Brown, R.L., M.D., Levenstein I., and Bercker, B. Spermicidal Times of Samples of Commercial Contraceptives Secured in 1942. Human Fertility 8: Sept. 1943.

Ware, H.M., M.D. The physician’s Responsibility in Planned Parenthood, Va. Medical Monthly, May 1943.

Pierce, C.C., M.D. Control of Conception as a Public Health Responsibility. Mississippi Doctor 21: June 1943.

Bent, M.J., M.D. Report of Sub-Committee on Birth Control, Natl. Med. Assn. Jl, Nat. Med. Assn. 35: Jan. 1943.


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