Bombay Municipal Corporation and Birth Control

The Margaret Sanger Papers
Last updated
March 15, 2011, 10:41 a.m. (view history)

Sanger  wrote: “The Bombay Corporation passed a resolution that has been before them for three years to ask a Special Medical Committee to report on the question of “Birth Control and the Municipality”.” (1/2/1936)

The Bombay Municipal Corporation approved, in a modified form, M. R. Masani's resolution regarding birth control, by one vote. They did  not vote to accept the principle of Birth Control, but asked the Medical Relief and Public Health Committee to prepare and submit a report on a plan for the provision of free birth control  information at Municipal hospitals, dispensaries and clinics set up for the purpose. Masani argued that they did not want to force anyone to accept birth control, just to permit those that want it to get it. "As a Socialist, he did not believe that birth control  would solve India's economic problem which to his mind was due to several political and economic factors but he thought that owing to the grinding poverty of the country there should be some restriction of births."

Sir J.B. Boman-Behram moved the amendment to refer the matter to the Medical Relief Committee without accepting the principle, argued that there was medical division on the issue and it should be taken up by medical experts. Describes some of the discussion, some opposition centered on the motives of the reformers (America produces millions of articles every week and need markets for them);

From a chronology

[372] 1936 - "M. R. Masani, Mayor of Bombay Municipal Corporation moved the resolution that the Medical and Public Health Committee should prepare and submit to the corporation a scheme for the provision for information and instruction in methods of birth control in birth control clinics and in existing Municipal Hospitals and dispensaries."