Lasker became involved in the birth control movement--whose leader was Margaret Sanger--after the 1936 White House Conference
on Child Health and Protection alarmed her with its findings of endemic childhood diseases and poverty. In 1938, she became
secretary of the Birth Control Federation of America and later of its successor, the Planned Parenthood Federation. She and
Albert Lasker were the largest individual donors to birth-control programs in the country in the early 1940s. Other than
birth control, Mary Lasker did not involve herself specifically in women's health issues.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (102,029 Bytes)
1952-03-28 (March 28, 1952)
Original Repository: Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Mary Lasker Papers
It is a long time since we met at the Cosmopolitan Cocktail party and at your lovely tea that you gave for the Federation
Things are "hopping" in the International world. It is like a dream come true , as far as excitement and initiative
goes. Now the reality of bringing Birth Control into all the over-populated nations of the world is the question. There were
two mass meetings in Japan in December where three thousand people assembled to invite me to come over there. There are great
possibilities of doing good work in Japan. I haven't been given my visa to go to Japan, but General Ridgeway answered
my cable to the effect that the Peace treaty would throw back to the Japanese proper authorities, the decision as to visas,
so that is all right, and I expect as soon as these conditions are settled that I will have no difficulty.
What I want to ask you, I think we did talk about it briefly one day, is the continuation of giving the films to foreign
medical societies. The results have certainly been most satisfactory throughout India, where medical students are shown the
films very often, and it means that a whole new generation of Indian Doctors will know the technique of contraception. The
Bureau, as you may know is pretty hard up. I am not sure that Dr. Stone can carry the load much longer without going out to
the public to ask for funds to maintain it. The Bureau is actually the main teaching center for Doctors in New York. Young
medical students came from Yale, Harvard, Long Island College, Bellevue, Cornell Medical School to take courses of instruction
from Dr. Stone. The films are shown practically every day to different groups that come to the Bureau. Of course all this
is free of charge, and the amount of time and literature that is given amounts to considerable during the year.
Dr. Amano, who has set up a Clinic and teaching center in Japan, is on his way to the U.S. and wants very much to take a set
of films as a gift from me to the Japanese Government Health authorities.
Enclosed is a letter from Mrs. Flowers at the Bureau for this set of films to Japan. I think it would be more appropriate
under these conditions if the Lasker Foundation presented this set of films to the Japanese Government instead of Margaret
Sanger. What do you say? Would you be willing to do this? In fact I think that it would be right hereafter when the Bureau
asks you for any reimbursement for these films to have them come from the Lasker Foundation.
My love to you as always and affectionate regards to Albert,