Eleanor Roosevelt/Birth Control Discussion(Nov 1996)

Eleanor Roosevelt/Birth Control Discussion(Nov 1996)

Query From Ann Colbert colbert@cvax.ipfw.indiana.edu 15 Nov 1996

I have nothing to offer in the way of information about birth control in the U.S. during the 1920s, but I am curious if anyone knows about the possible relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and the birth control movement. Thanks.

Editor's Note: According to Sanger biographer Ellen Chesler, during 1941 Eleanor Roosevelt met with birth control advocates at the White House and helped to initiate state-administered family "spacing" programs through the U.S. Public Health Service. Chesler also found that Roosevelt contributed $10.00 to a Sanger fund-raising solicitation in 1941. For more see: Ellen Chesler. _Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America_(NY, Simon & Schuster, 1992) esp. pages 387-390. Kriste Lindenmeyer

>From Elisabeth Perry eperry@mail.slc.edu 18 Nov 1996

As an officer of the Women's City Club of New York in the latter half of the 1920s, ER spearheaded programs on birth control and received some national publicity for her public support of open dissemination of birth control information. I mention this in my "Training fro Public Life: Eleanor Roosevelt and Women's Political Networks in New York in the 1920s", J. Hoff-Wilson and M. Lightman, eds. _Without Precedent: The Life and Career of Eleanor Roosevelt_(Indiana, 1984):28-45.

>From Allida Black amblack@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu 18 Nov 1996

Record is sketchy on paper--but ER had a close relationship with Mary Lasker and was a financial supporter of planned parenthood. The Mary Lasker interview in the FDR library gives some information on this--but ER was not a consistently public advocate for this--more behind the scenes and her views change as she ages.