This is an amazing article written in 1939 about the state of reproductive health in North Carolina. Well worth the read.
When he became director of preventive medicine of the State Board of Health, Dr. Cooper preached to fellow physicians and laymen alike that North Carolina could not climb far toward better health and happiness without birth control for the poor. But his hands were tied. Unlike most states, North Carolina had no law against spreading birth-control information, but there was always the federal law — the old Cornstock law, dating from 1878, which frightened every physician in the country into complete silence with its untested but threatening provisions. It was not until the autumn of 1936 that the federal courts ruled the law could not prevent physicians from using contraceptives ‘for the purpose of saving life or promoting the well-being of their patients.’ That was the battle Margaret Sanger won. It freed the doctors, but it wasn’t much immediate help to those who most needed help. There were no funds for birth-control clinics, and Dr. Cooper knew the futility of taking a contraceptive promotion program before a state legislature. The situation seemed hopeless as ever.