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December 20, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(25):1893. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610510031022

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Nov. 19, 1919.

The Declining Birth Rate  The great loss of life in the war has drawn increased attention to our declining birth rate. At the last sitting of the National Birth Rate Commission, Sir Rider Haggard (the author) said that within the last half century it had become known that the birth rate could be kept down by artificial means. Woman had once more eaten of the fruit of a forbidden tree of knowledge. At first, the practice was confined to the upper classes, but now it seemed that it was gradually spreading through the whole community of every western nation and in one, France, was in full operation, so that the death rate exceeded the birth rate, which continued to fall. In our educated and professional classes many causes combined to prevent increase, as was evidenced by the number of "only sons" killed in the war. The maternal

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