Issues regarding access to, education about, and practice of birth control have played a pivotal role in religious, social, and political conflicts throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 21st century, controversies surrounding birth control remain at the forefront of current political debates over topics as varied as women’s rights, social welfare initiatives, federal healthcare funding, consumer protection and physician liability, and informed consent.
Birth Control provides a historical background of premodern practices, describes birth control in the 19th–20th centuries, and discusses all currently available types of contraceptive systems, including both artificial and natural methods. The treatment of contemporary public debates on birth control addresses questions posed on practical, ethical, religious, and moral grounds, presented respectfully and in a balanced fashion.
- Contains 20 primary document excerpts divided into 8 thematic categories, including early birth-control manuals, essays by Margaret Sanger, papal encyclicals, federal statutes, Supreme Court cases, and executive orders from 4 presidents on the subject of birth control
- Provides a bibliography of sources for additional research
- Includes a glossary and index for quick access to information about specific topics and terms