Birth Control Films in Indian Medical Schools

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The Margaret Sanger Papers
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Last updated
March 25, 2011, 10:37 a.m. (view history)

Sanger wrote: "Medical schools in Bombay have the contraceptive films for student instruction.  In representing the International Birth Control Centre these films were given them as from the Centre."

We need to locate any details on the schools and films.

"I am deeply distressed to learn that the films have been censored, and that you cannot show them in the future. Can you give me more information as to the cause of this; was it because they were demonstrating in public, are they still uncensored in a medical college. Will you also tell me confidentially how your audience accepted the facts as illustrated in Dr. Warner's film o the human model. There has been considerable criticism on this film and that is why I did not take it with me to the Orient.

"I am arranging with Dr. Warner to not send you the bill for her films but I would much appreciate it if it did not contain the name of the l Clinical Research Bureau and I am asking her to have it removed from future films, as this was never approved of by the Board and should not be shown outside of medical meetings."

"Last Sunday, we showed your 2 films & Dr Warner's films at the Royal Open House. All the 1000 tickets printed were sold out & many couldn't get admission. For that show I got the special permission of the Board of Film Censurs to allows approved  social workers as well to attend. We were expecting to repeat the performance next Sunday when I was served with a notice by the Police Comissioner & Film Censor not to show the films in any public place! We had the tickets printed for the next show. The films were Censored twice & they want them to be Censored again by a principal of a [illegible] who is known to be rather too conservative. The whole [illegible] I was tortured by the police about how I admitted people to the last show etc etc. Fortunately the tickets were sold only at the Medical College & at my office."

"A parcel of films addressed to me arrived in Bombay about 2 weeks ago. As there was no covering letter I did not know what films they were. Only to-day I got them censored and found that they were the ones promised by you. ....Long ago your secretary Miss Rose wrote to say that Dr. Warner is prepared to send [on] approval her film on the fitting of contraceptives on a living woman. I have not yet received this. Of course I shall pay for it. If you could kindly arrange to send this to me I shall be grateful.

"Mrs. Phillips writes me on the 8th instant to say that Mrs. Sanger has written to the New York Clinic to send me the two Cinema films prepared by Dr. Chambers. If these have not already been despatched to me will you kindly see that they are sent off as early as possible.

":Soon after I received your letter of the 25th January I wrote you to send me the film prepared by Dr. Marie Warner showing the actual fitting of contraceptive with a living model. I shall be glad to have a copy of this film also. I note that it will cost about $75.00 and if it is instructive I can raise the money from some source or other."

Discussing his plans for expanding the movement, she sends funds to cover travel and printing costs.

"I wish at this time I could guarantee the cost of a projector, but that I cannot do until I return to America and see what the lay of the land is there.

"The films are rather expensive I have just learned, but it may be that I shall get them cheaper at a future time."