Download A History of the Birth Control Movement in America (Healing by Peter C. Engelman PDF

By Peter C. Engelman

A heritage of the contraception stream in the US tells the extreme tale of a gaggle of reformers devoted to making birth control felony, obtainable, and applicable. The engrossing story info how Margaret Sanger's crusade starting in 1914 to problem anti-obscenity legislation criminalizing the distribution of contraceptive details grew into essentially the most far-reaching social reform routine in American heritage. The publication opens with a dialogue of the historical past of contraception tools and the criminalization of birth control and abortion within the nineteenth century. Its center, although, is a thrilling narrative of the crusade within the twentieth century, vividly recalling the arrests and indictments, banned guides, imprisonments, confiscations, sanatorium raids, mass conferences, and court dramas that publicized the reason around the country. recognition is paid to the movement's thorny alliances with medication and eugenics and particularly to its luck in precipitating a profound shift in sexual attitudes that became using birth control into an appropriate social and clinical perform. ultimately, the contraception move is associated with court-won privateness protections and the present-day move for reproductive rights.

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Additional info for A History of the Birth Control Movement in America (Healing Society: Disease, Medicine, and History)

Sample text

I would tell the world what was going on in the lives of these poor women. ” Sociable but seldom the center of attention at this time, with an ear always out for her young children, Sanger later depicted herself as a supportive wife to her husband’s grand ideas and a busy host to the garrulous friends who congregated in their small apartment. “These vehement individualists had to have an audience, preferably a small, intimate one. ” But it did not take long before Sanger was drawn into conversations or debates with the engaging personalities who made up this intimate society of cultural and political renegades.

Marriage manuals and advice tracts idealized sexual union and often labeled abstinence unnatural. The one extant survey of the sexual habits of 19th-century women confirms that sexual intimacy and pleasure had become an acknowledged cornerstone of marriage and that the regular use of birth control made this goal attainable. Between 1892 and 1912, 47 wives of professional men filled out Dr. Clelia Mosher’s extensive questionnaire covering their sexual experiences dating from a few years before the Civil War to the early years of the 20th century (most of the respondents were born before 1870).

These vehement individualists had to have an audience, preferably a small, intimate one. ” But it did not take long before Sanger was drawn into conversations or debates with the engaging personalities who made up this intimate society of cultural and political renegades. Within a year of their move to the city, the Sangers were regulars at various radical gathering spots, including the Liberal Club in the Village and its basement restaurant, Polly’s; the nearby Ferrer Center, founded by Emma Goldman and other anarchists as a cultural and education center, and its Modern School, in which Sanger’s oldest child, Stuart, enrolled in 1912; and the Fifth Avenue salon of the arts patron Mabel Dodge.

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