1931 April 6

U.S. versus Married Love . . . . Really?


No, the federal government did not have an official position opposing love in marriage. But U.S. Customs did ban the book, Married Love, by English birth control pioneer Dr. Marie Stopes. In United States v. One Obscene Book Entitled “Married Love,” New York Federal Judge John M. Woolsey overturned the ban on this day. First published in England in 1918, Married Love had been printed in 19 editions by 1931. (Woolsey also famously overturned the Customs ban on James Joyce’s Ulysses on December 6. 1933.)

Dr. Marie Stopes opened the first birth control clinic in England on March 17, 1921, and on July 18, 1931, three months after the decision on this day regarding Married Love, a District Court judge ruled that her book Contraception was not obscene,

Read the book: Marie Stopes, Married Love (1918)

Learn more about Stopes: Ruth E. Hall, Passionate Crusader: The Life of Marie Stopes (1977)

Visit the web site of Marie Stopes International: http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/

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