When it comes to the history of birth control in America, very few are aware that contraception was actually illegal in the United States for over 60 years, reaching well into the 20th century until 1936, and there were still some state laws against the prevention of conception on the books as late as 1965. Many know about Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood. But, they have forgotten where the battle waged in the early 20th century – over the legalization of contraception. Planned Parenthood was originally known as the American Birth Control League. Birth control was the foundational battleground, not abortion.
Throughout history we can see two things which are overlooked today:
- Obscenity birth control and abortion were linked together, as a sort of continuum. Since birth control has since been accepted, and thus delinked from obscenity and abortion, the progression has been lost. It is easy enough to envision how illicit images foster a desire for premarital and extramarital relationships. And when that temptation is contemplated in the mind, often that desire turns to action. Contraceptives are needed to suppress the fruit of those relationships so that they may remain hidden from the public eye. Yet when contraceptives sometimes fail and pregnancy ensues, the final recourse is abortion; so abortion is also needed. Planned Parenthood thrives off of this by providing abortions to resolve the sexual activity that was started and encouraged by themselves in the first place. Obscenity, birth control, and abortion all begin and end with the same attitude, recreation without procreation. They are parallel roads to the same destination.
- If just one of these three were not effectively suppressed, the other two would eventually follow. The “prevention of conception would work the greatest loss of morals”. Birth control was the lynchpin for obscenity and abortion; it was the key battleground. It is counter-intuitive, but it was birth control and not obscenity that brought about the attitudinal sea change. During the 18th century, there was broad cultural agreement on the evils of obscenity and abortion, even birth control. But, to the public, the most rational case could only be made for contraceptive use within marriage, between husband and wife in a lawful relationship. The American public would not have favored liberalized obscenity or abortion laws, or even for contraceptive use outside of marriage. If the concept of limiting family size took hold and those who were married lost their vision of multigenerational family life; if children were no longer considered a blessing but rather a burden, this would inevitably lead to a breakdown in the values of family, and thus open the door for acceptance of the other two, which from 1965 to 1973, birth control, pornography, and abortion were all given Constitutional protection over a mere 8 years.
Historically, societies had generally always acknowledged that the primary purpose of marriage was to start and raise a new family; thus, it was considered illogical to bring birth control into the marital union. If birth control were accepted within marriage, it would only be a matter of time until they would be further accepted where they do make sense (albeit for overtly sinful purposes) – outside of marriage. Add abortion to that equation, and the result would be an all-out attack on healthy marriages by providing a variety of means to tempt spouses and singles; legalized contraception and abortion allow extramarital and premarital relations to have a much higher chance of going undetected. The drop in risk would by definition lead to a corresponding rise in behaviors destructive to family.
"It’s what the success of Playboy was founded on: a new sexual freedom that had never been possible before legalized contraceptives."
We have seen that the availability of contraceptives actually encourages immoral behavior. Not to mention that modern studies certainly support this despite reports that contraception reduces abortion statistics. Promoting or subsidizing contraceptives will result in increased use, which means increased failure rates and more abortion. Once contraceptives were legalized and let to simmer for a few generations, the melting pot of American culture literally boiled over. Legalization actually came out of a court decision in 1936, not out of any popular cry from the public-at-large, although it’s fair to say that there was growing support for the idea led by a few radicals. Throughout the Second Industrial Revolution, fathers, and for the first time mothers as well, worked in local manufacturing plants and offices. In the growing number of two working-parent households, attitudes towards children rapidly changed. The original desire was not to encourage promiscuity or undermine the family. It was pure pragmatism. Yet, it did not matter the reason for limiting family size, the end result was just the same. Priorities were altered and families were weakened and contraceptive use spread each year. Just over seventy years later, American men and women are getting married at later ages than ever and birth rates are the lowest on record. Cohabitation, divorce and single parent households are at all-time highs. And now, the very definition of marriage is being questioned and repudiated by several states with no end in sight.
The fruit of our contraceptive culture is rancid and many voices are calling for a restoration of the church. In order to effectively communicate the truth about birth control and it’s impact on the church, marriage, and family, we begin by asking two questions:How Did We Get Here, and Is It Up to Us?
Thus The BIRTH CONTROL MOVIE Project, was born out of a desire to communicate the truth about birth control from the Word of God.
Our first award-winning documentary, BIRTH CONTROL: How Did We Get Here?, was created to educate audiences on the history of birth control and its impact on the church, marriage, and family.
Our feature documentary BIRTH CONTROL: Is It Up to Us?, was created to train Christian audiences to apply sound biblical doctrine to the area of family planning with a true gospel-centered attitude towards children and a desire for multi-generational legacy.
The first of two films focuses on the history of birth control and it’s impact on the church, marriage, and family.
This engagingly fast-paced documentary takes a historic look at the modern church’s public embrace and overwhelming acceptance of child prevention as biblical theology. The reinterpretation of Scripture and rejection of our church history in the mid twentieth century allowed for responsible planned procreation.
The title question of the film seeks its answer by studying God’s sovereignty, reviewing our response to God’s revealed will, and defines the God-given avenues for obedience, sanctification, and proper stewardship.
Children bring maturity, obedience, sanctification, and strength in facing difficult circumstances. And when you study what the scriptures say, we realize that birth control can have no part of our lives. Controlling and preventing children is contrary to creating lasting legacy through fruitful and obedient marriages.
Long before the tide turned to erode the prevailing attitude regarding the evils of birth control, largely through Sanger’s efforts, one figure stood out – Anthony Comstock. In fact, Comstock didn’t just stand out, he stood almost alone.
By age 28, he made an unconditional surrender of his life to the will of God; he gave up his personal ambitions and took God’s will for himself, no matter what might be the cost. He entered the fight. He was and is our country's greatest activist. He began the fight by making citizen’s arrests and incredibly within a year he found himself in Washington, DC meeting with congressmen and drafting the Postal Act of 1873. The Comstock Act, as it soon came to be known, passed in dramatic fashion during the final hours of the 42nd Congress and Comstock himself was shortly thereafter surprised with an appointment to be its chief enforcer with the newly created office of U.S. Post Office Special Agent. Thus, Comstock embarked on the life work in which he would serve for the next 42 years. Over the next 50 years Margaret Sanger would tear down everything that Comstock put into place.
Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation is a newly republished and retitled authorized biography of the great fighter for purity, Anthony Comstock. Originally written in 1913 in the present tense of Comstock’s ongoing work, the story is one of life-and-death adventure, moral and physical heroism, and incomparable achievement. Editor Scott Matthew Dix brings a fresh, relevant discussion to the book with an engaging preface and postscript, and included is an eye-opening foreword by Allan Carlson, PhD.
This book is available now in paperback, eBook, Mp3 CD, and Mp3 Digital download.
Our newly republished and retitled book Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation is being transformed into a captivating 100 page illustrated novel and a moving-comic film based on the remarkable life of Anthony Comstock, the great fighter for purity. Click to learn more.
We are aware that we can do nothing apart from God. We encourage all believers to seek the Lord’s will and work within our various jurisdictions. We pray that God may bless our endeavors and that they may have national impact as those hero’s of the past; but within our own spheres – family, church, and community – we seek to personally get involved in the battle to protect purity and champion the blessing of larger, stronger families as the bedrock of a healthy church and society. We can lead by example. Let us pray for a national return to the “Comstock era,” a time ushered in by one man who fought and won an impossible fight; and the whole nation followed. Be thankful to the Lord for this heritage and be inspired by what one individual can accomplish with the help of God.
 Today the term pornography is en vogue. Personally, We prefer the term obscenity, as it is more general and covers a broader range of behaviors, language, and images.
 “27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Mt 5:27-28 AV)
 “14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (Jas 1:14-15 AV)
 Quoted from Harper’s Weekly interview on May 22, 1915.
 United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries, 1936.
 Ultimately, this has led to a complete redefinition of marriage; the legalization of – contraception within marriage (1965); pornography (1969); contraception, and thus fornication, for the unmarried (1972); abortion (1973); abortion for minors without parental or spousal consent (1976); contraception, and thus fornication, for minors (1977), sodomy (1998, 2003); same sex marriage for several states (2008-); and even the national contraceptive mandate (2012) which is forcing healthcare providers to provide contraception at no cost.