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environment be improved, the death-rate decreases, and this is followed
by a fall in the birth-rate, according to the constant laws of Nature
manifesting in such cases.
The same law is seen to be manifested in the case of Man. Improve his
environment, and his death-rate drops, which is accompanied by a
falling birth-rate. Here, once more we see the application of the
scientific axiom "Improve the environment and reproduction is checked."
As Leroy-Beaulieu has said: "The tendency of civilization is to reduce
the birth-rate." And as Professor Benjamin Moore has said: "Decreased
reproduction is the simple biological reply to good economic
conditions." And as Havelock Ellis has said: "Those who desire a higher
birth-rate are desiring, whether they know it or not, the increase of
poverty, ignorance, and wretchedness."
Among men, Birth Control has now evolved from the unconscious and
instinctive phase, and is now unfolding and manifesting on the plane of
conscious and voluntary activity. The influence of deliberate intention
and conscious design is now one of the important factors in the process.
Here at this point we reach a totally new aspect of reproduction. In the
past stages of evolution the original impetus toward reproduction has
been checked and directed by Nature, working along instinctive and
unconscious lines; and the result has been an extreme diminution of the
number of off-spring; a prolongation of the time devoted to the breeding
and care of each new member of the family, in harmony with its greatly
prolonged life; a spacing out of the intervals between the offspring;
and, as a result, a vastly greater development of each individual, and
an ever better equipment for the task of living. All this was slowly
attained automatically, without any conscious volition on the part of
the individuals, even when they were human beings, who were the agents.
Now, however, we are confronted with a change which we may regard as, in
some respects, the most momentous sudden advance in the whole history of
reproduction, namely, the process of reproductive progress now become
conscious and deliberately volitional. Birth control, no longer
automatic, is now being directed by human mind and will precisely to the
attainment of ends which Nature has been struggling after for millions
of years; and, being consciously and deliberately directed, it is now
enabled to avoid many of the pitfalls into which the unconscious method
Havelock Ellis says: "The control and limitation of reproductive
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