"Birth Control, 1944"




"Birth Control, 1944," Britannica Book of the Year (1945), p. 108


For other articles in the Britannica Book of the Year series, see Birth Control, 1941 ; Birth Control, 1942 ; Birth Control, 1943 ; Birth Control, 1945 ; Birth Control, 1946 ; Birth Control, 1947 ; Birth Control, 1948 ; Birth Control, 1949 ; Birth Control, 1950 ; Birth Control, 1951 ; Birth Control, 1952 ; Birth Control, 1953 ; Birth Control, 1954 ; Birth Control, 1955 ; Birth Control, 1956 ; Birth Control, 1957 ; Birth Control, 1958



Birth Control.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., formerly the Birth Control Federation of America, Inc., and its 37 affiliated state leagues expanded the national state and local programs in 1944.

Medical and Public Health.–

The Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical association began to test all contraceptive products and to report thereon and two more state medical societies, Iowa and Minnesota, passed resolutions favourable to Planned Parenthood as a medical and public health service.

Copies of the manual, "Techniques of Conception Control," were requested from the federation by 47,000 physicians throughout the country.

Increasing emphasis on the positive phases on its program, the federation published and distributed a pamphlet, "To Those Denied a Child" to assist childless couples in understanding the problem and knowing what medical facilities were available for treatment.


New technical manuals were published and copies were requested by 21,000 nurses, 11,000 clergymen, 4,000 social workers and 1,300 professors of sociology. Refresher courses for nurses were held in six states reaching some 1,000 nurses particularly in the public health field.


Research in chemical contraceptives was undertaken in two university laboratories. No new discoveries were made. Two awards of $500 were offered by the federation for scientists making the most significant contribution to research in contraception and the correction of sterility.

Social Work.–

The federation retained a full-time social work consultant on its staff.

An Outline for a Course in Planned Parenthood by Mary A. Cannon, professor of social work, Columbia University, N.Y., was published as a teaching guide for courses in schools of social work and colleges. The federation and many of its affiliated state leagues participated in the National and State Conferences of Social Work and in institute programs on marriage and the family.

Negro Program.–

A full-time consultant on work with Negroes was added to the staff, to co-ordinate work in this field. Assistance was given in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The National Planning Committee on Work with Negroes was formed, held regular meetings, and issued two printed appeals for support and action. The National Medical Association, the National Negro Insurance association, the National Council of Negro Women and the National Conference of Colored Parent-Teachers associations were among the national organizations affirming or reaffirming their support of the Planned Parenthood program.


The National Clergymen's Advisory council, with more than 1,000 members, was organized to carry on an active program; and officers, regional chairmen and an executive committee were elected by its members.

Press and Radio.–

Articles appeared in 32 magazines, and more than 50 radio stations put the federation's transcription of "Freedom from Fear" on the air.

State Organizations.–

Five states and the District of Columbia added professional workers to their staffs and all were given orientation at national headquarters.


Other groups continued activities in Great Britain and India, but the war disrupted all other organized effort. A royal commission, to study population trends, was setup in England, where the birth rate was the highest in many years and the nation's general health was the best in years in spite of the war. Population growth in the neutral countries of Sweden, Switzerland and Eire was reported. India's population continued its increase and leaders there advocated birth control as partial answer to the problem. In other countries in Europe birth rates were low, although Germany alleged a rise, which, if true, might be due to the policy of stimulating illegitimacy. (For U.S. births, see CENSUS DATA, 1944.)

Russia adopted a new policy to stimulate its birth rate, including state aid to mothers of large families, with medals and honourary titles added.

Canada also adopted a "child allowance" policy, to cover all children from birth to 16 years. A substitute for the Beveridge plan was presented in Great Britain, which would provide compulsory insurance covering, among other things, maternity benefits and family allowances. The question of attempting to ban the sale of contraceptives, and thus stimulate the birth rate, was debated n parliament, but not adopted, because of vigorous opposition to such a policy. (See also BIRTH STATISTICS.)


Nils. P. Larsen, "Birth Spacing; Its Effect on Health of Mothers and Infants," Human Fertility 9:1-6 (March 1944); Bernard Becker and C.J. Gamble, "Spermicidal Times of Samples of Contraceptives Secured in 1944," Human Fertility 9:6-12 (March 1944); C. C. Pierce, "Contraceptive Services in the U.S.," Human Fertility 8:91-93 (Sept. 1943); N. J. Eastman, "Phenylmercuric Acetate as a Contraceptive," Human Fertility 9:33-43 (June 1944); R. E. Seibels, "The Effectiveness of a Simple Contraceptive Method," Human Fertility 9:43-48 (June 1944); "Two Billion People," Fortune (Feb. 1944); "84.9% Said Yes. Poll on Planned Parenthood," Fortune (Aug. 1944); National Negro Advisory Council, Statement on Planned Parenthood (1944); L. F. Wood and A. Stone, "Marriage Counsel in Relation to Planned Parenthood" (1944); Mary A. Cannon, Outline for a Course in Planned Parenthood (1944); Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., "Planned Parenthood: Its Contribution to Family, Community and Nation" (1944), "To Those Denied a Child; A Guide for Husbands and Wives Seeking Parenthood" (1944) and "Legal Status of Contraception" (1944); "National Negro Leaders Agree: Planned Parenthood Means Better Families" (1944); J. H. J. Upham, "Catholics and Planned Parenthood," American Mercury (Feb. 1944); Arnold Keller, "Roman Catholicism's Moral Certainties," Lutheran Church Quart. 17 (April 1944); S. Chandrasekar, "India's Human Resources," An. Am. Acad. Polit. and Soc. Sciences (May 1944); Gyan Chand, "The Frozen Manpower of India," An. Am. Acad. Polit. and Soc. Sciences (May 1944); E. Grafenberg and R. L. Dickinson, "Conception Control by Plastic Cervix Cap," West. J. Surg., Obstet. and Gynec. 52:335-340 (Aug. 1944).