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Access to Birth Control in Early 20th-century Ireland

  • Free
  • Discussion
  • Auto-captioned

What you’ll do

Watch a recording of Dr Laura Kelly talking about the experiences of Irish men and women trying to access contraception in the early 20th century. 

You will learn how they attempted to resist the legal and moral bans on birth control through an exploration of personal letters written to the British birth-control campaigner Marie Stopes.  

The talk reveals the everyday challenges that ‘ordinary’ Irish people faced. It will explore how many people believed a lack of access to birth control negatively impacted their health, and this motivated their desire to access effective contraception. 



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About your speaker

Black and white photographic headshot of Dr Laura Kelly

Dr Laura Kelly


Laura Kelly is a senior lecturer in the History of Health and Medicine at the University of Strathclyde. She is a co-director of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) and a member of the Scottish Oral History Centre (SOHC). Laura is an expert on gender history and the social history of medicine in 19th- and 20th-century Ireland. She has recently finished researching a Wellcome-funded project on the history of birth control in 20th-century Ireland.