Monday, Jan. 26, 1931
The American Birth Control League invited 30 Protestant Episcopal bishops to its convention in Manhattan last week. Not one bishop appeared, although their Triennial General Convention at Denver next September is certain to consider birth control in echo to the last Lambeth Conference of bishops of and affiliated with the Church of England, which discreetly approved the movement (TIME, July 14 & Aug. 25). Nonetheless there were several preachers of various denominations among the 200 delegates who attended the convention. Also-present were a few doctors. Conspicuously absent were women who revel in tales of their own childbearing, women too prudish to discuss procreation in any manner, Catholic women obedient to the Pope’s denunciation of any hindrance to conception (TIME, Jan. 19). Last week’s meeting lacked the vigor of previous conventions. Some speakers interpreted the Pope’s denunciatory encyclical as favorable to birth control. “It paves the way for the inevitable fight over what is one of the most important biological findings in history”—Professor Julian Sorell Huxley of London. Other speakers and a formal resolution politely denounced the recent White House Conference on Child Health & Protection (TIME, Dec. 1) for not mentioning birth control at all. Dr. Ira Solomon Wile of Manhattan called the White House Conference “a total, a complete and excellently devised demonstration of an ostrich policy. This is unjust to the ostrich, however, as it does not bury its head quite so deeply.” Otherwise the birth controllers were placid. They reiterated an old boast that their movement has been endorsed by various sectional conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Congregational Churches of Connecticut, the Universalist “General Convention, the American Unitarian Association, the Lambeth Conference. During ten years of formal organization Birth Control has developed an American League, state leagues in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; local groups in California. Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland. North Carolina and Ohio; a Committee for Federal Legislation on Birth Control: and 58 big-city clinics for contraceptive advice.