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Testimony on Birth Control

May 12, 1932 — Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, US Senate, Washington DC


I should like to read you a list of the doctors on our medical advisory committee.

J. Dellinger Barney, M.D., Boston, Mass.; John R. Caulk, M.D., St. Louis, Mo.; Ross McC. Chapman, M.D., Towson, Md.; John F. Erdmann, M.D., New York City; John Favill, M.D., Chicago, Ill.; Francis R. Hagner, M.D., Washington, D.C..; John Hartwell, M.D., New York City; Frank Hinman, M.D., San Francisco, Calif.; J. Shelton Horsley, M.D., Richmond, Va.; Clarence B. Ingraham, M.D., Denver, Colo.; Smith Ely Jelliffe, M.D.., New York City; James R. McCord, M.D., Atlanta, Ga.; Stuart McGuire, M.D., Richmond, Va.; Adolf Meyer, M.D., Baltimore, Md.; William Alley Pusey, M.D., Chicago, Ill.; Alexander Randall, M.D., Philadelphia, Pa.; W.F. Shallenberger, Atlanta, Ga.; John H. Stokes, M.D.., Philadelphia, Pa.; Fred J. Taussig, M.D.., St. Louis, Mo.; Morris W. Vaux, M.D., Philadelphia, Pa.; William H. welch, M.D., Baltimore, Md.; Ira S. Wie, M.D., New York City; Milton C. Winternitz, M.D., New Haven, Conn.

That list of doctors is as good as you can find in this country. They are outstanding men in the scientific world, and the reason that I read them is because we are so proud of having them with us. When Such a group of medical men think a thing is medical advisable, I doubt whether the majority of other doctors would disagree with them.

One thing that I noticed at our last hearing was that our opponents made a great deal of two points, and I thought I might just clear those up first. They had nothing to do with the case, in my opinion, but our opponents spent at great deal of time on them, and I think they made an impression.

One was that our organization had something to gain commercially by the passage of this bill; that we were financially interested in the sale of some of our appliances.

We are not interested at all commercially. Our organization is supported by the voluntary contributions of our many thousand members. None of the officers of our organization are in any way interested in the commercial end of it. Our opponents especially condemned our chairman in that regard. I wish to emphasize that there is nothing to it and that the accusation is absolutely groundless.

Another statement that was made by the opposition was that we were in league with the soviets.

A great many people feel that if they wave the red flag it will scare the committee. I doubt very much if it would scare you at all. However, so much emphasis was place don the statement that I shall take the opportunity to refute it. We do believe in birth control. The Soviet Government does believe in birth control, but that does not make us in league with them.

Undoubtedly the members of the committee are opposed to child labor. The Soviet Government is opposed to child labor. That does not make you gentlemen reds. No. Undoubtedly you believe in up-to-date farm implements instead of the old-fashioned plow. So does the Soviet Government. That does not make you reds.

You believe that railroads ought to be constructed, airplanes and automobiles used, to do away with the stagecoach. So does the Soviet Government.

There is no sense I reasoning that would line people up as reds in this way, and that is perfectly obvious.

I shall not spend any more time on these things, because they have really nothing to do with our bill. But gossip of that sort, if you say nothing about it, sometimes is believed merely because it is not desired.

We have several things that we want included in the record, and we have been very careful not to ask you to print anything that we do not consider essential in the building up of our testimony.

We are grateful to Senator Hatfield for the splendid speech he has made. Also we are grateful to Senator Norris, who has bee fine in helping us.



Source: Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Seventy-Second Congress, First Session on S. 4436 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1932), pp. 5-6.