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BIRTH CONTROL AND CHILDREN'S BUREAU
Women have always been concerned with birth control issues since it directly impacts their health, freedom, sense of personhood and sexuality. When a woman knows she can control her reproductive system to any extent, she feels more liberated to enjoy her intimate relationships. Birth control has been as old as issue as time itself though it was only in modern times that it gained any prominence. Women since early 20th century have been trying for legalized birth control since it was found that old and unscientific measures were leading to high death rates among expectant mothers. Margaret Sanger is one well-known name in the field of birth control. Born in 1879, Sanger was 29 and a mother of three when she found her calling. Trained as a public health nurse, Sanger devoted her time and attention to the field of birth control after the tragic incident in which one of her patients lost her life during pregnancy and after literally begging her for the 'secret' of effective birth control. Sanger then actively began advocating legalization of birth control and challenged some federal laws banning distribution of birth control devices and information. She later established her organization, American Birth control League to facilitate legalization of birth control measures.
Women have always sought just one thing: someone to share their worries and concerns with. So when the Children's Bureau of Department of Labor was established in 1912, mothers thronged the bureau with letters, suggestion, calls for help and information etc. This was one place from where they could get help on everything in connection with pregnancy and childbirth and this was definitely a welcome change. Women concerned about anything from doctors' improper training to pregnancy health issues would write to the Bureau and request relevant information. Bureau had pertinent information in form of brochures and guides that would be sent out to anyone needing them. Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act of 1920s sanctioned this distribution of information. Such effective programs under the bureau supposedly saved tens of hundreds of children and mothers. Women were glad to know that government was sincerely interested in their problems and concerns and thus approached the bureau with all kinds of issues connected with their health, children and pregnancy.