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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

I became interested in the importance of planned parenthood, then called birth control, as a public health and mental health measure about 1937. I always saw it from the beginning as something that had wide human and emotional importance as well as public health need throughout the United States and throughout the world. I was inspired by a biography I read on Margaret Sanger at about this time, and I was impressed by her courage and bravery to fight for a cause so difficult and so surrounded by hypocrisy, prudery and ignorance.

Q:

Mrs. Lasker, your sympathies went out to the individual woman who with the burdens of a large family...

Lasker:

Well, my sympathies went out to anybody, male or female, any family, that didn't have the right to control the size of their families, that didn't have this as a human right. It seemed to me that there should be a freedom to be born by choice into your family, not by chance, and too many people, it seemed to me, seemed to be born by chance and unprepared for by their families.

Q:

And at that point in the history of our country we were going through a great depression and more and more people were on public relief, and I suppose that was an issue.

Lasker:

We I, that was an issue, too. In any case, it seemed from every human and economic point of view ridiculous that there should be any lack of discussion or lack of ability to



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