By Aharon W. Zorea

For many of the nineteenth century, contraception was once no longer thought of a wellbeing and fitness or scientific factor; all prohibitions and prosecutions relating to 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 continues to be a hugely delicate topic.

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But unlike the situation of the 1950s and 1960s, the advocates of birth control hold a deferential position in the debate. It is up to the critics to generate the public opposition necessary to change current practices. S T E RI L I ZATI O N The last form of birth control, sterilization, belongs in a category that is separate from natural and artificial contraceptive methods. Whether through surgery or chemical reaction, sterilization permanently eliminates the possibility of fertility and thus does not “control” birth.

For the sake of policymakers who need to find some broad agreement, most debates avoid questions of universal principles and focus instead on specific questions of access, health, and propriety. 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?

More important, the growth of large corporations and heavy industry improved the standard of living for all sectors. Prices of manufactured goods fell, salaries increased, and a flood of time-saving inventions improved communication, transportation, and entertainment. Despite the rapid social changes, few could deny the fact that science brought many useful solutions. Historians named the period from 1895 to 1915 the Progressive Era because almost all leading figures shared a broad faith in the nation’s ability to continually progress through its industry and technological innovation.

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