AND AIMS OF THE AMERICAN BIRTH CONTROL LEAGUE
The complex problems now confronting America as the result of
the practice of reckless procreation are fast threatening to grow beyond human control.
Everywhere we see poverty and large families going hand in hand.
Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly. People who cannot
support their own offspring are encouraged by Church and State to produce large
families. Many of the children thus begotten are diseased or feeble-minded; many
become criminals. The burden of supporting these unwanted types has to be bourne
by the healthy elements of the nation. Funds that should be used to raise the standard
of our civilization are diverted to the maintenance of those who should never have
In addition to this grave evil we witness the appalling waste
of women's health and women's lives by too frequent pregnancies. These unwanted
pregnancies often provoke the crime of abortion, or alternatively multiply the number
of child-workers and lower the standard of living.
To create a race of well born children it is essential that the
function of motherhood should be elevated to a position of dignity, and this is
impossible as long as conception remains a matter of chance.
We hold that children should be
Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and
freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.
Every mother must realize her basic position in human society.
She must be conscious of her responsibility to the race in bringing children into
Instead of being a blind and haphazard consequence of uncontrolled
instinct, motherhood must be made the responsible and self-directed means of human
expression and regeneration.
These purposes, which are of fundamental importance to the whole
of our nation and to the future of mankind, can only be attained if women first
receive practical scientific education in the means of Birth Control. That, therefore,
is the first object to which the efforts of this League will be directed.
The American Birth Control League aims to enlighten and educate
all sections of the American public in the various aspects of the dangers of uncontrolled
procreation and the imperative necessity of a world program of Birth Control.
The League aims to correlate the findings of scientists, statisticians,
investigators, and social agencies in all fields. To make this possible, it is necessary
to organize various departments:
RESEARCH: To collect the findings of scientists, concerning the
relation of reckless breeding to the evils of delinquency, defect and dependence;
INVESTIGATION: To derive from these scientifically ascertained
facts and figures, conclusions which may aid all public health and social agencies
in the study of problems of maternal and infant mortality, child-labor, mental and
physical defects and delinquence in relation to the practice of reckless parentage.
HYGIENIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL instruction by the Medical profession
to mothers and potential mothers in harmless and reliable methods of Birth Control
in answer to their requests for such knowledge.
STERILIZATION of the insane and feebleminded and the encouragement
of this operation upon those afflicted with inherited or transmissible diseases,
with the understanding that sterilization does not deprive the individual of his
or her sex expression, but merely renders him incapable of producing children.
EDUCATIONAL: The program of education includes: The enlightenment
of the public at large, mainly through the education of leaders of thought and opinion--teachers,
ministers, editors and writers--to the moral and scientific soundness of the principles
of Birth Control and the imperative necessity of its adoption as the basis of national
and racial progress.
POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE: To enlist the support and cooperation
of legal advisers, statesmen and legislators in effecting the removal of state and
federal statutes which encourage dysgenic breeding, increase the sum total of disease,
misery and poverty and prevent the establishment of a policy of national health
ORGANIZATION: To send into the various States of the Union field
workers to enlist the support and arouse the interest of the masses, to the importance
of Birth Control so that laws may be changed and the establishment of clinics made
possible in every State.
INTERNATIONAL: This department aims to cooperate with similar
organizations in other countries to study Birth Control in its relations to the
world population problem, food supplies, national and racial conflicts, and to urge
upon all international bodies organized to promote world peace, the consideration
of these aspects of international amity.
THE AMERICAN BIRTH CONTROL LEAGUE proposes to publish in its
official organ ``The Birth Control Review,'' reports and studies on the relationship
of controlled and uncontrolled populations to national and world problems.
The American Birth Control League also proposes to hold an annual
Conference to bring together the workers of the various departments so that each
worker may realize the inter-relationship of all the various phases of the problem
to the end that National education will tend to encourage and develop the powers
of self-direction, self-reliance, and independence in the individuals of the community
instead of dependence for relief upon public or private charities.
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