By Aharon W. Zorea
For many of the nineteenth century, contraception was once now not thought of a overall healthiness or clinical factor; all prohibitions and prosecutions concerning contraception have been applied below obscenity legislation. One such legislations, the Comstock Act of 1873, banned the distribution of contraceptives in addition to information regarding contraceptives. good over a hundred years later, contraception remains to be a hugely delicate topic.
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In part, the clause was also intended to provide some consumer protection against scam artists who promised cures for sterility or fecundity through quick-fix manuals that pretended to be scientific. The critical point was that under the Comstock Law contraception was not considered as either a medical or a scientific issue but solely as a moral issue. The public sensitivity to indecency was particularly high during the time of the temperance and purity movements of 1870s, and the Comstock Law lent itself to very broad interpretations.
Eugenicists were not alone in their call for proactive action to solve rising crime rates, political machines, sanitation problems, 34 BIRTH CONTROL and concentrated ignorance that these urban environments seemed to create. Marxists, socialists, anarchists, freethinkers, free lovers, and a host of others could be counted as “liberals” reacting positively and negatively to industrialization. The number of “radical remedies” easily kept pace with the number of technological innovations that fueled the rapid changes.
At the level of public debate, the wide spectrum of moral assumptions can be more easily categorized into more manageable policy questions. Chapters 4 through 6 consider the following categories: • Health: What are the short-term and long-term effects of particular birth control methods? To what extent should the government regulate these methods, and how should the public be best informed to make their own decisions? When do the needs of public health outweigh the freedom of individual choice?
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