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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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I arrived early in the morning, and these were the days when I used to go Washington on the midnight train. I arrived at Anna Rosenberg's room at the ungodly hour of 7:30. She was busy on the phone already, and everyone phoned her for a conference or concurrence, and she had enormous influence with Roosevelt in the White House.

I set out to the White House, and I was actually ahead of time for lunch. Mrs. Roosevelt had asked Miss Lenroot and a rabbi from Baltimore to lunch with Thompson and me. (Miss Thompson was Mrs. Roosevelt's secretary). Mrs. Roosevelt asked Miss Lenroot why the Childrens Bureau couldn't make the same permissive policy toward the use of its funds by state public health programs for planned parenthood which the Public Health Service had taken. Miss Lenroot indicated in skilfully mysterious words, “It might jeopardize the Childrens Bureau's funds.” Mrs. Roosevelt and I were defeated at replying by an interruption from the rabbi who was trying to help us, but didn't. The result was that Miss Lenroot got away with keeping the Childrens Bureau in status quo with no funds ever to be given for contraceptives. I was furious. What crazy, old nonsense! but what could one expect from an agency run by two maiden ladies.

Q:

Was her fear that if this was done the religious influence in Congress might eliminate their funds?



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