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Margaret Sanger, "Birth Control, 1950," 1951.

Source: " Britannica Book of the Year (1951), p. 110."

For other articles in the Britannica Book of the Year series, see Birth Control, 1941 ; Birth Control, 1942 ; Birth Control, 1943 ; Birth Control, 1944 ; Birth Control, 1945 ; Birth Control, 1946 ; Birth Control, 1947 ; Birth Control, 1948 ; Birth Control, 1949 ; Birth Control, 1951 ; Birth Control, 1952 ; Birth Control, 1953 ; Birth Control, 1954 ; Birth Control, 1955 ; Birth Control, 1956 ; Birth Control, 1957 ; Birth Control, 1958 For typed draft of the article, see Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S72:610.

Birth Control.

During 1950 the Planned Parenthood movement began a long-range education, service and research program. This program, adopted the previous year by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was: “To provide leadership toward universal acceptance of family planning as an essential element of responsible parenthood and stable family life.” Intensified field work was carried on, especially on the Pacific coast. A program of work with minority-group families whose economic status denied them private medical care was expanded to educate them as to contraceptive clinic services available. Work was carried on with ten leading Negro organizations with the objective of encouraging their leaders to co-operate with national, state and local Planned Parenthood programs and to stimulate their interest in this health measure. Consultants also took part in courses or in family institutes under federation sponsorship in 23 Negro colleges as a method of interpreting the program to students who would one day take their places as community leaders.

The federation produced its first film A Planned Parenthood Story, designed to reach married couples in need of accurate information on how conception control could strengthen their family life.


The sixth annual Albert D. and Mary Lasker Foundation Awards in Planned Parenthood went to Margaret Sanger, founder of the birth control movement and Bessie L. Moses, M.D., of Baltimore. Mrs. Sanger’s citation read: “To Margaret Sanger, foremost in teaching families wise planning in birth control: Leader in influencing nations towards balanced population; living to see her beginnings in city slums grow into plans for a planet.” Dr. Moses, obstetrician and instructor in obstetrics, Johns Hopkins university, was recognized for “her brilliant record of forwarding the cause of Planned Parenthood among the public and medical profession.”


During the year the federation established its own research program in human reproduction and three studies in fertility and infertility were carried over from a previous research project that had been sponsored with the National Research council’s Committee on Human Reproduction and the National Committee on Maternal Health.

The final goal of research in this field was to develop a contraceptive method sufficiently simple, safe and effective to be used by families living in overpopulated world areas where existing methods cannot be widely disseminated because cost and complexity prohibit their use among illiterate submerged peoples.

Clinical and laboratory research in contraception and other phases of human fertility were also carried on during the year at the Margaret Sanger Research bureau.

The Planned Parenthood federation was in 1950 the national agency and clearinghouse for 15 state leagues and 98 local committees. Birth control clinics numbered 522. These services were in 252 public health departments, 52 hospitals and 190 extramural clinics and there were 28 referral services. Of the 162,377 yearly total of patients visiting birth control clinics in 1949, the majority or 150,693 were served in the extramural clinics, sponsored by federation affiliates. Of the 67 infertility clinics, 16 were under Planned Parenthood auspices.


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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project