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deliberate human action.
In its present state of evolutionary progress human thought along these
lines has found expression in what is generally known as "Birth
Control." The process which has been working slowly through the ages,
attaining every new forward step with waste and pain, is henceforth
destined to be carried out voluntarily, in the light of human reason,
foresight, and self-restraint. The rise of Birth Control may be said to
correspond with the rise of social and sanitary science in the first
half of the nineteenth century, and to be indeed an essential part of
The new doctrine of Birth Control is now firmly established in all the
most progressive and enlightened countries of Europe, notably in France
and England; in Germany, where formerly the birth-rate was very high,
Birth Control has developed with extraordinary rapidity during the
present century. In Holland its principles and practice are freely
taught by physicians and nurses to the mothers of the people, with the
result that there is in Holland no longer any necessity for unwanted
babies, and this small country possesses the proud privilege of the
lowest death-rate in Europe.
In the free and enlightened Democratic communities on the other side of
the globe, in Australia and New Zealand, the same principles and
practice are generally accepted, with the same beneficent results. On
the other hand, in the more backward and ignorant countries of Europe,
Birth Control is still little known, and death and disease flourish.
This is the case in those eight European countries which come at the
bottom of the list of the Birth Control scale, and in which the
birth-rate is the highest and the death-rate the heaviest--the two rates
maintaining such a constant correspondence as to lead to the inevitable
conclusion that they are associated as cause and effect.
But even in the more progressive countries Birth Control has not been
established without a struggle, which has frequently ended in a
hypocritical compromise, its principles being publicly ignored or denied
and its practice privately accepted. For, at the great and vitally
important point in human progress which Birth-Control represents, we see
really the conflict of two moralities. The morality of the ancient world
is here confronted by the morality of the new world.
The old morality, knowing nothing of science and the process of Nature
as worked out in the evolution of life, contented itself with assuming
as a basis the early chapters of Genesis in which the children of Noah
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