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October 21, 1939

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION IN THE MOVEMENT FOR 'BIRTH CONTROL'

JAMA. 1939;113(17):1553-1559. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800420027006
Abstract

The avoidance of conception as a result of normal sexual intercourse has been made in recent years the subject of extensive scientific study as well as of propaganda movements directed largely by lay and, in part, by professional groups. The desirability of birth control in a limited medical sense has been extended into the realms of sociology, economics and eugenics, and as a result a considerable confusion of thought and purpose has been developed. The doctor, however, has been made to feel that his participation in the world-wide discussion is a minor one; he is accused of failing to keep in step with modern requirements and to be unwilling to support a movement of such paramount importance. Undoubtedly the medical profession has been hesitant to take an active part in a propaganda with which many of its members are out of sympathy, largely because of the hysteria and exaggeration which

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