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Jewish RadicalsA Documentary History$
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Tony Michels

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757437

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757437.001.0001

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“The Right to Control Birth” (1916)

“The Right to Control Birth” (1916)

(p.104) 14 “The Right to Control Birth” (1916)
Jewish Radicals

Rose Pastor Stokes

NYU Press

This chapter details the speech delivered by labor advocate Rose Pastor Stokes at a birth control rally in honor of Emma Goldman. Pastor Stokes is protesting against the withholding of contraceptive information from poor mothers, at the same time decrying the hypocrisy of the rich for benefiting by the same information they have outlawed. Central to her arguments is the Comstock Law, which suppresses the dissemination of obscene or immoral information, and how it is widely used to curb the distribution of information on birth control and contraceptive devices. More broadly, the speech is meant to be socialist propaganda, promoting equal opportunity for all while at the same time denouncing the ills perpetuated by capitalism.

Keywords:   Rose Pastor Stokes, birth control, contraception, Comstock Law, socialist propaganda, capitalism, equal opportunity

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