• 39,00 kr

Publisher Description

In the year 1877 Mrs. Annie Besant and Mr. Charles Bradlaugh, two firm and honest advocates of the doctrine of Malthus, were prosecuted and sentenced to imprisonment for publishing a book entitled “The Fruits of Philosophy,” which presented the physiological aspects of birth control.

The trial lasted several days, and aroused a greater interest in the subject than had been known since the days of Malthus. The English Press was full of the subject; scientific congresses gave it their attention; many noted political economists wrote about it; over a hundred petitions were presented to Parliament requesting the freedom of open discussion; meetings of thousands of persons were held in all the large cities; and as a result, a strong Neo-Malthusian League was formed in London.

Interest in the subject did not confine itself to England, however, for the following year at an International Medical Congress in Amsterdam the subject was discussed with great enthusiasm. A paper prepared and read by Mr. S. Van Houten (later Prime Minister) caused a wider interest in the subject, and a year later the Neo-Malthusian League of Holland was organised. Charles R. Drysdale, then President of the English League, attended the Conference.

As is usual in such causes, many of the better educated and intelligent classes adopted the practice at once, as did the better educated workers; but the movement had as yet no interest among the poorest and most ignorant. The League set to work at once to double its efforts in these quarters. Dr. Aletta Jacobs, the first woman physician in Holland, became a member of the League, and established a clinic where she gave information on the means of prevention of conception free to all poor women who applied for it.

Naturally, this action on the part of a member of the medical profession aroused the animosity of many of its members against her; but Dr. Jacobs stood firm in her principles, and continued to spread the necessary information among the peasant women in Holland in the face of professional criticism and gross misunderstandings.

All classes, especially the poor, welcomed the knowledge with open arms, and requests came thick and fast for the League’s assistance to obtain the necessary appliances free of charge. The consequence has been that for the past twelve years the League has labored chiefly among the people of the poorest districts. Dr. J. Rutgers and Madame Hoitsema Rutgers, two other ardent advocates of these principles, have devoted their lives to this work. Dr. Rutgers says that where this knowledge is taught there is a reciprocal action to be observed: “In families where children are carefully procreated, they are reared carefully; and where they are reared carefully, they are carefully procreated.”

Professional & Technical
8 March
Library of Alexandria

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