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Regular Departments
August 10, 1964

Nubile Maidens and the Premarital Law

JAMA. 1964;189(6):519. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070060129023

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To the Editor:—  The attainment of reasonable law and order as an objective in life is commonly accepted. Since man emerged from the caves, it has been necessary to impose certain rules on individuals in order to further the well-being of society.In support of controls in public health, I can offer no better example than Michigan Department of Health statistics (June 23, 1964). In 1947 there were 111 syphilitic babies born in the state. In 1956 there were only two such births, testing of every new mother being required by law. In 1963 there were 11, indicative of the national increase in syphilis. The report shows further that in 1950 there were 20 infant deaths from the disease, while in 1962 there was only 1. Improved controls in detection and therapy assuredly benefit the public as well as the newborn. Would not Dr. Magill admit that these facts justify

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