Sexuality: a search for perspective; Who owns fertility?
You see birth control was known by the elite by the educated group throughout the world. That is in the educated world. The Egyptians knew it. The Greeks knew it the Romans know it but it was only for the elite. It was not to be practiced by the simple common folk it was believed that the rich get richer and the poor get children it was an immutable law handed down by God and could not be changed. Michigan State University radio presents sexuality a search for perspective a series of recorded lectures from an interdisciplinary colloquy on human sexuality held on the campus of Michigan State University. The purpose of this series is to provide a comprehensive discussion of human sexuality in its broadest possible perspective. And yet deal with this important and timely topic in an organized informed and rational manner. The
lecturer today will be Dr. Allan F. good mocker president of the Planned Parenthood world population in New York. Dr. good mocker received his medical training at Johns Hopkins University and has been chairman of the Department of Obstetrics at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. He's the author of the book birth control. He'll speak today on the question who owns fertility. The church the state or the individual. Now Dr. Alan F. good marker. There seems to be a great deal of uncertainty as to who who owns fertility. Does the state there's the church. Does the individual and I think that there has been a contest in this area perhaps through the ages. Man has attempted from a personal point of view to control his fertility from before recorded time.
Birth control contraception is very ancient. The very earliest medical records we have the famous Egyptian Popperian seven of them are concerned with obstetrics and gynecology and the obstetrician the priest position of that day knew a lot about birth control so that this is not new. He knew a lot about abortion. This is not new. I think one may question as to why the church and state have this investment in the reproductive potential of the human. Certainly in Judaism it's clear to see that the Jewish religion has been concerned about
fertility of its people largely because they were a small nomadic group who had a big philosophical ideal. The idea of monotheism which they wanted to give to the world and thus they grew vastly in number. They would be prey to the enemies and would disappear. They first of sixty six hundred thirteen commandments which you wholly gave to His chosen people was Be fruitful and fill the earth. He didn't tell them what to do after they filled the earth. I think you might have some very good advice for them but that's not in the Bible as you know contraception is damned in the Bible through the parable of Onan. I don't really think that it happened exactly as the Bible states
in Genesis 38 verses 7 to 10 but. I think it was a story folklore put in the Bible for a significant purpose. Now the rabbis. I still feel that it probably was in order to compel the Jew to practice the lover of marriage. As you know. By Jewish law if a man died childless his brother had to marry the widow. You know what to bring up his seed. This was a kind of memorial to him. This was a perpetuation of his seed. I don't know whether that it really is the reason or not. You see the story is that Earth had two
sons. One was Judah and he sinned and God was rough and he slew him. And quite logically if you just said to Onan my boy you have to marry your brother's widow and I imagine she wasn't a very attractive Dame and I imagine Onan said Really papa and papa stroked his beard and says Why sure. And he married her. And then of course according to Jewish law. He must cohabit with her at least one Friday night a month. Well the last fight in the month came around and he cohabited with her but probably in the process he said to himself I'll be damned if I want a child by this dame and he withdrew and spill to see it in God's name it was rough initially. Now that's of course a story. The reason I don't think people over there are that it really happened because I doubt a large crowd was around to
watch this event and therefore I have some doubt that it actually occurred. Now I think it probably came about in a little different way. I don't know I have the idea that probably Ann was sunbathing and Moses came along and so is brother sleeping and kind of tickle it with his sandal said. How goes a brother and I imagine Evan looked up and said. No I think as far as I'm concerned everything's all right. But there are a few things I like to talk to you about we never seem to have any. We never seem to have any chance to talk here on the desert. You say Well brother what's on your mind he said Well I'm concerned because we're not producing fast enough whether how ladies only have two children the Pentagons have three children we can't make a nation. And Moses said well you know I've never noticed that.
He said Brother how do you explain it. Well as Aaron said it's pretty simple the CIA tells me that they're spilling their seed upon the ground. And Moses said most regrettable most regrettable he said what do you think we ought to do about it. And Aaron should I think we ought to put it in the Bible. So I think that is actually how Howard the stricture against contraception came into Judaism into the Bible. And it's been carried by Orthodox Judaism just as strongly as Catholicism. But people have strayed away from it. The Jew is a more practical man than the Orthodox Jew than the Catholic because under certain conditions a Jewish woman never a man was allowed to practice contraception. There were three conditions the Talmud tells us in which contraception could be practiced one if the guy was very young. That means if she was less than 12 years in one day she became a woman of 12 years and one day but if
she was less than that she could practice contraception and man Second if she's already pregnant because it was felt that another pregnancy would be a bad twin you'd get a so-called fetus preparations in which one twin is normal the other twin is simply like a dried up piece of paper. They thought this was due to conception occurring during pregnancy which is not true. And also they thought that conception would dry up the mother's milk. So under these conditions when you're very young when you're pregnant when you're nursing contraception is all right now. I think I'd like to become more practical and perhaps talk about the origin of the democratization of birth control. You see birth control was known by the elite by the educated group throughout the world. That is in the educated world.
The Egyptians knew it. The BRICS knew what the Romans knew it but it was only for the elite. It was not to be practiced by the simple common folk it was believed that the rich get richer and the poor get children it was an immutable law handed down by God and could not be changed. Finally a strange man came along a fellow named Francis place in England. I will can't go it is be August because it's a fascinating story but far too long. But nevertheless he was a man who made bridges and the best bridges in London and became very rich. He decided to become rich in a hurry because he wanted to retire at the age of forty five which he was able to do to devote himself to much more important things than making the best bridges in London. And he became deeply concerned with social economic problems of his day and he thought.
That it was a mark. For children to go to work as young as they did and to work as hard as they did in the mills of the Middletons particularly because in 1823 when he first carried out his birth control campaign the situation was somewhat better. Children were only allowed to work for 12 hours a day and only seven days a week. So the situation had improved but nevertheless he felt that the fact that children could be put to work so rapidly in the factory there were so many children who kept the labor market down kept their wages down and he felt that if there were fewer children wages would go up. And they wouldn't have to go to work so early in the factory and they could get a better secular and religious education and therefore. He went around through the Midlands and London and other parts of England and distributed his so called devilish handbills in which he
exhorted the poor to use birth control and he prescribe a method of cutting a piece of sponge into about the size of a small apple and putting a string about it inserting it in the vagina before coitus was practiced in this way preventing the semen from entering the mouth of the uterus the cervix and therefore preventing pregnancy. It was not too good a method but it was about the best method available. This made quite an impact impression. He did not get into trouble himself but some of the people handed out. The hand-bills were arrested and brought the four magic words so that even then in England this was not looked upon with favor by the state. Now why does the state have such a vested interest in one's fertility. Well before the day of
modern nuclear war vast armies were of significant political importance and they needed cannon fodder and soldiers. A big nation was a powerful nation. Therefore they must grow. They must have had and fought it. Now the situation is changed so utterly and so completely. With the technical knowledge and power of a country outweighing so much its muscle strength that situation is not as it was and I think that the state probably is losing interest in the size. Certainly some states realise quite well They're oversized. Fortunately mainland China among other states now.
Democracy ation of birth control is a long story but the American saga is a very interesting one because Margaret Sanger who is known to all of you she was this remarkable woman who was from a small town in upper New York a nurse by profession a mother of three children decided that she would devote her life to the goal of bringing birth control to simple folk. According to her biography her conversion occurred in a rather dramatic way. She was a nurse on the East Side of New York in the grande Street area and she was making her rounds as a visiting nurse when a distraught man came down and intercepted her and pled with this young and beautiful redheaded white very very alabaster skinned woman to
climb up the five flights to the tenement which he occupied with his wife and their four children. She got there and found safety sacks. The wife desperately ill from an abortion which either she had committed on herself or had been committed. And Margaret with the help of this nation was able to nurse Mrs Sachs back to health and after three weeks when this woman was greatly improved. The physician and Mrs. Sanger made a last visit on the patient and Margaret says in her biography that saidI with her large brown eyes looked at the doctor and said Doctor tell me how not to get pregnant. This was nine hundred twelve USA and the doctor said tell Jake to sleep on the roof. That was all the birth control available for the poor in 1912. Well this made an impression on Mrs. Sanger. This is reinforced six months later
when she was summoned to the same tenement on the same mission but with an entirely different ending because 10 minutes after Margaret reached the flat of the saxes Mrs. Saxe died in her arms and according to her biography this November night she walked the streets of New York to three o'clock in the morning protesting the elimination of this extraordinary valuable life. And she made up her mind then that she would direct her career toward bringing birth control to those who need it most and knew at least the poor the sophisticated this very remarkable woman as you know opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn in one thousand sixteen that you could not get a doctor to serve in the clinic. The first week because this was anathema. Any doctor would work in birth control it was looked upon as a kind of a scoundrel. And
Margaret and her sister got 400 histories from neighborhood women who sought birth control advice from this clinic. And after the clinic had been operating for a week they also sold a little pamphlet about birth control. A police woman walked in disguise bought the pamphlet for 50 cents a whistle the cops came in took all of the records out in the street made a bonfire at the intersection of two streets in Brooklyn. And of course Margaret went to jail for the first time in her career the first of eight times in her career. Now of course the whole situation has changed so completely so utterly so magnificently. Now are the change of courses from the medical profession from a legal profession for the point of view of the populace. As you know we had some damnable laws called the Comstock laws in this country which were put on the books by Anthony Comstock. Who was a professional do gooder. He was something
secretary of a watch and ward society the social hygiene I can't buy what they call this organization but he was going around harassing people by making them better. And Anthony Comstock got this law passed through the Congress. This then prevented the importation of birth control supplies abroad it prevented interstate commerce and then each state that fell. Were seduced by this man passed little Comstock acts. And we had a network then of states with little acts. So you For instance in Connecticut not only you couldn't sell display advise but you couldn't even use contraception in the state of Connecticut. There were obviously more felons in Connecticut each night you can count the numbers but this was the stupid silly law now. This remained on the books and then in
1936 Dr. Hannah stone imported three diaphragms contraceptive diaphragms from Japan notified the government that she was importing needs sought arrest was arrested and of course was pride. And this is known as the US vs. one package. The package of diaphragms of Euro law you want to look it up you have to look at. Look at up on the US vs. one package. And of course she was found not guilty by the famous justice Learned Hand Augusta's hand his cousin and her justice Moskowitz in the Appellate Court of New York found her not guilty Dr. Stone. And this did a great deal to soften the impact of our restrictive laws because most of the states decided that they would repeal the little Comstock Act as long as a federal law was non operative except for Connecticut and Massachusetts.
And of course in Connecticut we finally won the victory in a Supreme Court decision of July seven thousand nine hundred sixty five by a seven to two decision of the court. The two justices Stewart and black who are negative who are the two votes against the finding the law unconstitutional said the laws were silly but the legislatures should repeal them and not the Supreme Court should find them unconstitutional because in their point of view no Constitutional amendment was abrogated through these laws. The seven justices who found favorable verdict thought that there was something under the first third fourth fifth ninth. Amendments which were abrogated by such silly law. So now we have this whole bugaboo dispell. So that's gone. There is no law which prevents contraception over the
country and now are as far as the appreciation is concerned. We have extraordinary appreciation by the medical profession in one thousand fifty nine The Public Health Association passed a stunning resolution and the American Medical Association the American Academy of Pediatrics the psychiatric so forth and so on so that the medical profession has now finally long late risen to the importance of contraception and of course the federal government has directly involved itself. We had no money from government in contraception until three years ago. But the beginning that through the poverty program and through AGW and through a ID we have gotten even in a budget cutting year. Increasing allotments in 19 in budget nine hundred sixty seven. Oh you know I had two and a half million dollars
for birth control in budget year 68. They had nine and a half million dollars for birth control in budget year 69 that had 13 million dollars for birth control. AGW increased its allotment from 18 million budget 68 to 31 and a half billion budget 69 a idea increased its allotment from 35 million in budget 68 to 50 million budget 69. So there is no question about not only where the medical profession stands but where the government stand. I cannot go into all the evidence but you can read in. Pamphlets published by your government. The statement that the most cost effective dollar in the War on Poverty is the birth control dollar. The most cost effective dollar in the War on Poverty is the birth control dollar. And then you read that if we are trying to reduce infant mortality which we are trying to do in this country because we stand quite low down among the great nations of the
world when it comes to infant mortality we are told by the proper amount of health education welfare that the most effective way to reduce infant mortality is through effective contraception. The reason is that there is a much higher death rate. Among children born to mothers that is during the first year of life. Born to mothers when they have had more than four. Their death rate goes up quite separately. And since most American women irrespective whether poor rich middle class want between two and four children actually the poor want someone less than those well-to-do. If we could help the poor achieve the four child family we would obviously cut down in mortality in a rather dramatic fashion so that there is everything going for the approval of birth control. Now. What about birth control for the unmarried.
Well if we were sticky about this thing not only we but the government was and they first became interested in the proppant of welfare. France and Illinois they respected birth control only to married women. This course is absurd and ridiculous because if you're trying to cut down the illegitimacy rate if you're trying to reduce the rolls of the AFC day. Then you've got to do something to try to bring pregnancy into proper perspective and make of it a positive thing. People should. Soon the frame of mind that unless pregnancy is desired and all other conditions birth control effective birth control should be used and this must include not only the marriage but the unmarried
as well. I am not a moralist. I'm not here talking about a moral code. I'm certainly not trying to in any way uphold the propriety and necessity for premarital intercourse is here. And as long as it's here whether we all people approve of it or not is not so important as to protect the young who indulge in it. And certainly the cruelest thing is an unwanted pregnancy from an unmarried alliance. It's not only cruel for the child because it's cruel course for the two people involved and therefore we do believe strongly that birth control must be offered to the unmarried as well as the marriage. Now. Abortion had already learned discussion of abortion by Professor Noonan whom I admire
vastly. He is one of the great scholars I am presenting quite a different point of view than Doc from Professor Noonan because I have a different background. I belong to a different religion and I think it probably timely for you to get different points of view. Abortion according to the World Health Organization is probably the most serious endemic disease that faces the world today. World Health Organization estimates there are 25 million illegal abortions performed in the world every year. There are hundred twenty five million children born and 25 million abortions. This is an estimate. It may be higher it may be lower but we know in the United States it's probably the third largest racket. First of courses gambling second narcotics and third of course is a Bush.
We don't know toing how many illegal abortions are done in the United States each year. The guess is Bonaire are anywhere from 200000 to a million and a half. We usually choose the figure a million. It's simple to say it's easy to visualize but it's a large number. Now. Are we happy with this. Of course not. It's dangerous. What's in the not so dangerous it was before antibiotics and transfusion so that probably the deaths from abortion in this country are now reduced to someplace under 500 per year which is a great improvement over yesteryear when the numbers were probably 5000. It causes a great deal of physical and psychic illness. Now the question is what do we do
about what is you know we have illegal abortion and then we have what is called legal or therapeutic abortion legal or therapeutic abortion. You see the laws you know are 50 states until very recently where practically all the same they were copied after the English law of 18 0 3 which is modified in 1860 and the law is rare that abortion may be done to preserve the life of the mother. Now in some states it was to promote the safety in various very bridges. But for all practical purposes the laws were the same if pregnancy in the eyes of the physician was likely to cause death of the woman. It could be legally interrupted. How common is legal abortion in the United States until very recently. There are approximately between seven and eight thousand legal abortions done in this country every year and a million
illegal abortions done in this country. Who were having illegal abortions a much higher incidence among the well-to-do than the poor. We find in the proprietary hospitals of New York these are the small private hospitals the abortion rate was three point nine per thousand births. We find in the voluntary hospitals the large hospitals like New York hospital Presbyterian Mt. Sinai the rate was two point four per thousand live births on the private service and point five on the clinic services the same great hospital. We find that in their municipal hospitals of New York the rate was point one. That is one abortion per 10000 births. Now obviously the woman going to a Friday hospital isn't 40 times as ill as the
woman who goes to the municipal hospital. It's purely a matter of pocketbook influence. It's highly discriminatory. What about the illegal abortion. You can buy a safe abortion if you've got a thousand dollars. You can almost have a guarantee that everything will go well. If you've got three dollars it'll go bad because either you've got to do the damn thing yourself or get some neighbor in or I guess $3 wouldn't get you any kind of a job from anybody. Maybe a 7 or 10 I don't know but you can get some old granny to do it and battle who dies from abortions. Well. We find in New York City that the nonwhite death rate from abortion is five times the white rate. We find that in New York City the death rate in the Puerto Rican group is twenty six times the death rate in the white
rate we find in California that the women who have abortions 63 percent have had four or more pregnancies. The women who die are the poor women who have had. A house full of children. And rebel. Not because they don't love kids they rebel because they know darn well. That they have no home no economy. No pocketbook no chance to take care of another child and do a job. We all want to be good parents this is not unique in you and me. Everybody wants to be a good parent and sometimes reanalyze a situation and rebel and say you can't be a good parent to a child that's not wanted. And we can't possibly take care of and these are the people who end on the autopsy table. Now your grand dame who's a kept woman by the president of some great
commercial organization she's going to be in great shape because hell he can spill a thousand or ten thousand bucks and get a Washington Japan or he can get a good abortion someplace United States so that legal abortion and illegal abortion are broadly discriminatory. And this is what I object to. Now I don't favor abortion. My own feeling is that contraception preventing pregnancy by effective contraception is far wiser physically psychologically ethically then doing abortion. But at the same time if we can't stop this racket we've got to do something to at least take out the discrimination and promote the safety. I want to spend on five of our states have modified their highly restrictive statute which said that abortion may be done only to preserve the life of the mother.
These states are Colorado North Carolina California Georgia. And Maryland. Many states including Michigan and New York are considering how to modify their current abortion statute. In Nineteen fifty nine The American Law Institute proposed a model penal code. This chapter on abortion was written in 59 largely I believe when there was one of the authors of it. And as you know. This is a bad law because it says number one abortion may be done to preserve the life. And health of the mother. This is interpreted to mean not only our physical health but of mental health as well. Number two abortion may be done if there is serious likelihood
of the child being born malformed. Free abortion may be done if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. Now this statute was taken in toto by Colorado. This statute was taken in toto by California I'm sorry California excluded the abnormal child to simply the health and life of the mother and rape and incest. It was taken in toto by George. Now I've been in correspondence in preparation for my discussion with you with people in these areas and I'm told by my informants Dr Overstreet tells me that in California 968 they will have increased their legal abortions from 500 previous to the modification of the law
to 6000. That is then 12 times Doctor always beat tells me that the estimate of illegal abortion in California is between 50000 and 100000 per year 80000 is probably a more realistic figure. Therefore what if you don't. After all of what you've done then is to increase your abortions by fifty five hundred. But you've still got a cesspool of some 74000 illegal abortions being done. You're still having discrimination because even the illegal abortions in California are discriminatory. The rich who are sophisticated get a good psychiatrist have a much better chance of getting an abortion in California than those perhaps who need it the most. 85 percent of the 6000 abortions done in California are done for psychiatric reasons. I'm not saying that's a
wrong thing to do but I'm trying to tell you that psychiatric reasons can be stretched like a rubber band and therefore if you've got the right psychiatrist and the right financial backing to stretch it you can get quite a distance. 7 percent were done for help and the few remaining percentages were for for instance right now. Obviously in California where you cannot do abortions because of the child because of German measles. Then of course you do find that many of the abortions for eugenic reasons will be done on a psychiatric indication. In other words if you have rubella German measles early in pregnancy and you know that your chance of having an abnormal child if you have it in the first month of pregnancy is something like 50 percent. Obviously this is a great emotional psychic strain on you
and I would authorize you to be aborted on psychiatric granted wrong as I don't have the eugenic problem. Therefore some of these 88 percent are obviously on the basis of eugenic in case Maryland is the only state that shown any real guts in the state and Maryland has removed abortion from the pedal Co. There is no nothing in the statutes of Maryland about abortion. They put it under the Medical Practice Act which means that their medical faculty which is a state medical society establishes the policy on a boy. We don't know how it's going to work in Maryland because it's very new. We hadn't had a year's figures and I cannot get you the information. There is still going to be a lot of illegal abortion but not nearly as much as there probably isn't California proportional. Now I was on the Governor's Commission in New York in order to frame and
phrase a better abortion bill in New York. And I'm not happy about our bill. Our bill came out. Favoring abortion for preservation of life or health for eugenic indications for rape or incest and for girls unmarried at the time less than 14 years old and the four mothers of four children. This I put into it because that's the only way I can get at the economic and social factor that of the pool. Now I would like to change that and we have another bill in the legislature that Senator Burley has introduced. It probably won't pass and this would be then life for health eugenic reasons rape or incest any girl of less than 18 unmarried. Any woman of fortune any woman who is 40 years or more it seems to me by the time woman is forty years of age and she ought to be able to make a
proper decision as to whether or not another child would be a blessing in the household whether they need it whether they want it. And then I would have a woman aborted if she is incapable of taking care of a child because of either physical or mental. I don't do abortion lightly. I know that Professor Noonan feels quite strong if you're taking a life. That's his point of view and it's shared by a great many people. I don't look upon abortion as a form of murder. Talk to me. There is no comparison between the rights of the adult individual and the family compared to some embryonic cells that have never become a human being that are laid down according to the pattern of a human being has had no human experiences
is not capable of thought. To me this is quite different. This is not murder. This is simply balancing in my point of view the value of the adult life against a group of embryonic cells which have the potentiality of becoming a human being. You may say this is splitting hairs This is semantics. This is not. This is simply the way I feel on the bottom of my gut. Now I know that some day in America we should have abortion on demand. It shall be the right of the individual to determine whether or not she remains pregnant. Not the right of the husband not the right of the state not the right of the church. The right of the woman. I think this is very sophisticated. I think it's very right. I don't think we're ready for it yet in this country. First of all we can't get it. We're not going to get any legislature to do it
and I'm a pragmatist. I want to get as much as I can and I don't want to shoot for the moon when I can only go about 100 miles into the stratosphere and therefore I'm quite willing to have mock liberalisation of our laws perhaps on the pattern provided we can cut down the illegal abortion by as much perhaps as 50 percent. A word about. Sterilization as you know sterilization is very different than castration so often a lay audience thinks that they're synonymous. Castration is removal of either the two testes in the male or the two ovaries in the female Spain. If you told your cat or your dog. Sterilization in the human eye meant that yours is usually accomplished by in the mail by a very simple procedure called a vasectomy in which one simply interrupts the passage of the sperm cells from the testes to the penis
by cutting out and time the a segment of the vast operands on either side which goes through the upper part of the scrotum. I've seen it done many times in India. It's done under local anesthesia in very primitive hospitals and it's done extremely well. India reports one million 300000 vasectomies in 1968 according to Chandra Sekhar they hope to do three million as activities in the near future per year. Because this is a great method of population control which the Indians are willing to accept now in the woman the procedure is more complicated. Its so-called two back to mirrors appendectomy usually done by making an abdominal incision. It's most easily done immediately after childbirth when the first 12 hours when you notice is higher up in the abdomen and the fallopian tubes are very easily accessible and then simply a segment of tube is taken out and tied and that means that the sperm cell cannot get up to
fertilize the egg and the egg can't get down to make the sperm cells. In the United States we only have two states now with laws about sterilization. They are Utah and Connecticut and these two states sterilization may only be done if there is serious medical necessity there for all of the other 48 states. Sterilization is legal is legal for socio economic reasons. Now the only thing that retards the progress of sterilization in this country is the conservatism of the medical profession. The doctor doesn't know his law. He's worried that he's not doing something which is legal which of course is wrong and he's a very conservative person at best and the doctor's social conscience is a rather small organ so that when it comes to the soci acts socio economic situation of
his patients he doesn't feel for them very often. Now I don't think that sterilization should replace contraception but I think that after the family is achieved people have there for three or four five children that they desire and they want A and effective method of birth control which is probably has the least. Worry about it more police concern the necessity to carry out any kind of practice. Obviously sterilization has an important place and I think a place which we have neglected you know night States by the time the woman reaches 40 years of age 10 percent of our marriages have been rendered sterile by surgical mean 8 percent. The woman has been sterilized in half of the cases in 4 percent. As a byproduct or necessary gynecological procedure in 4 percent of women in America but which is 40
sterilization is done in order not to achieve another pregnancy often at the time of section 2 percent of the husbands. By the time the wife has reached 40 have been sterilized United States that one man in fifty or not maybe two men in this room might be a hundred men here maybe have been servers. Now it's much more common on the West Coast about 7 percent on the West Coast and something less than 1 percent of the East Coast. But legally we have no great roadblocks in regard to sterilization as I said it's largely the physician himself and the rules laid down by that particular hospital in which the doctor works at Mt. Sinai. It was a new concept when I went there in 1952 we introduced sterilization simply on the basis of the number of children which the woman had achieved. We starved any woman irrespective of who had six living children. If she was
30 to 35 she must have five living children. If she was 35 or more for a living and this was known as the law from Mt son now this law's been modified by many other institutions I don't require quite as many children anymore I think even Santa we've got a little more lenient more progressive. Finally I would like to talk just a moment about artificial insemination. As you know about 10 percent of American marriages are barren. Perhaps 9 percent we think it's come down from 11 to 10 and maybe even 9 percent of our marriages are voluntarily sterile. About half of the cases are due to problems in the male and about half are due to problems in the female. Now if the male is the cause of the infertility
then spermatozoa from a donor can be substituted and then the wife impregnated very simply by simply collecting the semen usually through masturbation from an unknown donor totally unknown to the wife but chosen by the physician carefully and the semen injected in the vagina and the chance for pregnancy is about the same as having coitus. Now it's fairly new technique. It was first used. There are cases of artificial insemination from the husband when intercourse is not possible. Sometimes a man has an abnormality of the penis so called hypo spade Iason which is semen dribbles at the base of the penis instead of exiting from the end of the penis and doing artificial insemination is quite useful in these cases. And the first case ever portables done by John Hunter the great English surgeon from my husband with hypos about 1795
but donor insemination is a relatively new thing and in order to put a little levity into the song discussion I'd like to tell you a small story. I'm afraid it won't have much impact because my memory of you know Admiral Rickover is but he is the hardest boiled admiral in the US and everybody thinks Caesar as being except for the people apparently work for him will think he's Jesus Christ but nevertheless. He's someplace in between the two. But he's a tough character and nine years ago I was coming up from my office in mount Sinai. I heard my secretary say well just tell the admiral dot markers are just coming in the office. I look at this guy and I said Admiral. She said Yes Admiral Rickover wants to talk to you I said you're crazy I'm a wrecker doesn't know me from a hill of beans and I want my office and I thought some friend was playing a
joke on me and I picked up the telephone of some sweet young voice in just a moment the admiral being here so I had my telephone a normal distance. Well you know what I mean banks. I said well I knew that it was the admiral and I said well I know that Seaman banks are possible I said but I don't have much stomach for this kind of artificial insemination. We're going to freeze experiment. Thought. So I said well I know you can phrase paranoia at 9 percent glycol and reduce them to minus 79 degrees and you keep them quite a long time he said. My God man that's all you know an atomic war coming and I said Well. Yes yes Or that's all I know he said. Who knows more about this new do. So I said well perhaps
Dr Muller the ballast out of universe to be Indiana. What a jackass if you're caught in the first place. That was the end of the total conversation in recovering good marker. So that there isn't just an artificial insemination not only among Sterling. And about some great philosophers like Oracle. Now of course his interest is that if we have an atomic war your gonads both the males and females in the room will be exposed to extraordinary radiation which of course increases abnormal offspring and subsequent generations. Therefore if we can collect semen from the most gallant looking just one of this room and store it deep in the earth where they could not be then exposed to tonic radiation then of course we would only have half of our germplasm put arrived by the atomic explosion. So recovery wants to establish semen banks two
miles below. For a potential war my enthusiasm for that is not very great if we're going to be that crazy to have such a war I think it's fine to see us extinguished totally and leave. Let me be rule the earth. But nevertheless when it comes to the sterile woman the star couple artificial insemination has had an uncertain legal status by some judges it's been declared it Dartrey children illegitimate. By other judges. Child has been declared legitimate and the woman non-doctors by some judges that child's been declared illegitimate. The woman not an adult. So the whole thing is terribly confused. Fortunately we have finally some order out of the chaos. First of all it's strangely strange to say Georgia in 1964 in the legislature passed a bill legalizing
artificial insemination from the donor provided that the wife and husband both signed consent. This is a very good statute Maysan things came out of Georgia. In addition to Maddox. But so that it's an excellent excellent look. This has been copied by the open Houma legislature we now have two states Oklahoma and 67 Georgia and 64 in which artificial insemination by donor is not a doctrine. And the challenge is if an illegitimate child is all the rights of illegitimate child. And finally the Supreme Court of California in Sorenson versus the state has declared that a child conceived by artificial insemination if the husband gives his consent is completely illegitimate child. And the court has made fun and poke fun at this being adultery because obviously this is the one way
to achieve a pregnancy without adultery. It's the antithesis of adultery. And the court takes pains to point this out. So fortunately from the point of view of progressive medicine artificial insemination done under the proper auspices. With the consents is a perfectly legal procedure now in the brief time available to me I've tried to cover a great deal of ground. I'm rather disappointed that you won't be able to ask questions because I had hoped that some of the things I left out of my discussion I could fill in that way but nevertheless it's been a great privilege to share this hour with you and I thank you for inviting me. Thank you all was there we anted.
- Who owns fertility?
- Producing Organization
- Michigan State University
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- The eighth program in this series presents a lecture from Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, M.D. President of the Planned Parenthood World Population Organization in New York.
- A series of lectures from an interdisciplinary colloquy on human sexuality, held on the campus of Michigan State University.
- Social Issues
- Family planning
- Media type
Editor: Jensen, Steve
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Speaker: Guttmacher, Alan F. (Alan Frank), 1898-1974
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-SUPPL (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Sexuality: a search for perspective; Who owns fertility?,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-1c1tjm4n.
- MLA: “Sexuality: a search for perspective; Who owns fertility?.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-1c1tjm4n>.
- APA: Sexuality: a search for perspective; Who owns fertility?. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-1c1tjm4n