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Fertility enables personal continuity, affecting the increase, stability, or decline of populations. The resulting numerical sizes of ethnic, religious, linguistic, and other groups play a role in national politics, economics, health, and other areas, with implications for the lives of the members of these groups. Given this complex mix of factors, it is not surprising that individuals and groups have had long-standing interest in fertility control. Contraceptive history in the United States has been turbulent, with periods of innovation interspersed with lacunae in product development and promotion. Knowledge of this tumultuous past permits better understanding of the contemporary politics and policies of fertility control.

Early U.S. History

Early American colonists were dependent on imported methods of preventing pregnancy, which included abstinence, male withdrawal, lengthy breast-feeding, and female ...

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