By Peter C. Engelman
A background of the contraception circulate in the US tells the intense tale of a gaggle of reformers devoted to making birth control criminal, available, and appropriate. The engrossing story information how Margaret Sanger's crusade starting in 1914 to problem anti-obscenity legislation criminalizing the distribution of contraceptive info grew into probably the most far-reaching social reform pursuits in American heritage. The booklet opens with a dialogue of the heritage of contraception equipment and the criminalization of birth control and abortion within the nineteenth century. Its center, even though, is a thrilling narrative of the crusade within the twentieth century, vividly recalling the arrests and indictments, banned courses, imprisonments, confiscations, health facility raids, mass conferences, and court dramas that publicized the reason around the country. awareness is paid to the movement's thorny alliances with drugs 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 scientific perform. eventually, the contraception stream is associated with court-won privateness protections and the present-day stream for reproductive rights.
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Additional resources for A History of the Birth Control Movement in America (Healing Society: Disease, Medicine, and History)
Many citizens were clearly disturbed that boundaries conﬁning sex to marriage and reproduction appeared irreparably broken. Contraception had been sullied by its legal association with obscenity and Before “Birth Control” 21 growing popular identiﬁcation with sexual commerce. Reproductive control was at odds with the gloriﬁcation of female sexual purity and the sentimentalized ideal of marriage—loving and faithful but in eﬀect sexless—that was central to temperate, moral America as it emerged from one of the greatest periods of transition and social turbulence in its history.
They had diﬀerent political agendas and often worked at cross purposes but shared the goal of restricting sexuality to the private sphere, to the marital bed, and ridding the urban environment of sexual depravity and corruption. Contraception was implicated in the perceived growth of moral decay by its association with a freer sexual climate, though it was not the main target of reform. By restricting sexual expression to the home, purity crusaders hoped to reassert the reproductive function of sexuality and the spiritual nature of the marriage bond.
He was the ﬁrst, but by no means the last, birth controller to go to prison. No rabble-rouser, Knowlton quietly served his sentence before returning to his respectable medical practice in the small farming town of Ashﬁeld, Massachusetts. Although he has been called “the founder of American contraceptive medicine”—and the popularity of contraceptive douching through the 19th and into the 20th century can be directly linked to his multiple editions of Fruits—Knowlton had no interest in becoming a crusader.