[North American Samizdat, Healthcare] Birth Control Handbook
Montreal: Journal Offset, 1970. Fourth edition. Offset on newsprint. 7 1⁄4 x 10 in. Saddle stapled. 47 pp. Very good. Item #5794
The Birth Control Handbook, first printed in 1968 by students at McGill University, was a pioneering text disseminating information about reproductive health and rights.
The book was widely distributed among millions in Canada and the United States, providing information on contraceptives, abortion, sexuality and health that was nearly impossible to find otherwise. The Handbook was so widely read that it was re-published and revised in 12 editions from 1969-1975, a popularity sparked in part by its illegality.
At the time of the handbook’s publication, it was illegal in both Canada and the United States to publish, sell, or disseminate literature regarding abortion and contraceptives. To have scientific information on the various methods of birth control in one place, with political commentary and practical tips, was revolutionary. As a result, the Birth Control Handbook played a large role in the sexual health revolution and in normalizing and legalizing healthcare for women. In the United States in 1972, birth control was legalized for all women regardless of marital status.