(1) Memoirs of the
National Academy of Sciences. Volume
(2) Conklin, The Direction of Human Evolution. “When it is remembered that mental capacity is inherited, that parents of low intelligence generally produce children of low intelligence, and that on the average they have more children than persons of high intelligence, and furthermore, when we consider that the intellectual capacity or `mental age’ can be changed very little by education, we are in a position to appreciate the very serious condition which confronts us as a nation.” p. 108.
PRINCIPLES AND AIMS OF THE AMERICAN BIRTH CONTROL LEAGUE
The complex problems now confronting America as the result of the practice of reckless procreation are fast threatening to grow beyond human control.
Everywhere we see poverty and large families going hand in hand. Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly. People who cannot support their own offspring are encouraged by Church and State to produce large families. Many of the children thus begotten are diseased or feeble-minded; many become criminals. The burden of supporting these unwanted types has to be bourne by the healthy elements of the nation. Funds that should be used to raise the standard of our civilization are diverted to the maintenance of those who should never have been born.
In addition to this grave evil we witness the appalling waste of women’s health and women’s lives by too frequent pregnancies. These unwanted pregnancies often provoke the crime of abortion, or alternatively multiply the number of child-workers and lower the standard of living.
To create a race of well born children it is essential that the function of motherhood should be elevated to a position of dignity, and this is impossible as long as conception remains a matter of chance.
We hold that children should be
1. Conceived in love;
2. Born of the mother’s conscious desire;
3. And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health.
Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.