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Karezza, Ethics of Marriage, by Alice B. Stockham, [1903], at

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No words can express the helplessness, the sense of personal desecration, the despair which sinks into the heart of a woman forced to submit to maternity under adverse circumstances, and when her own soul rejects it. - H. C. Wright.

Through Karezza unsought and undesired paternity will be a thing of the, past. Children that are desired will be planned for, favorable conditions will be sought, and the conception of a human being will be an occasion for the highest expression of creative power. Time, circumstances and conditions for the best good of the parents and the child may be chosen.

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The control of the fecundating power appeals especially to those mothers who are forced into frequent childbearing, who not only suffer in loss of health and strength themselves, but are overwhelmed by their inability to do justice to their children. If such mothers are rich, the little ones are turned to the pitiless care of a nurse; if poor, the children must seek their own diversion and all their activities thus lack wise direction. Alas! They are physical mothers only, lacking the unperverted and unerring maternal instinct of the lower creation.

Women instinctively long for and desire the office of motherhood. With this desire it is natural that they should wish suitable conditions and circumstances to enable them to perform the office well, to give children a rightful inheritance and to have the sacred office honored. It is lack of these conditions for maternity that impels women to shrink from it.

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Fear of suffering also, that frequently attends the office, causes women to dread motherhood, and often has led them to use undue measures to prevent it; it is now known that suffering is not a natural consequence of child-bearing. Even on the physical plane if women live close to the heart of nature, adopting simple habits of dress, food and exercise, they can to a great degree prevent the pangs of childbirth. It has been proven over and over again that painless parturition is possible.

A great truth, however, has been discovered. Through a knowledge of the spiritual forces of life and the possibility of according one's life to the law governing them, one may, under all circumstances, experience health and harmony. The inference follows that the natural functions of pregnancy and parturition, aided by a

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knowledge of this truth, will be free from pain and disability.

The very desire to realize the spiritual ideal in reproduction, together with consecration of the reproductive functions to that ideal, tends of itself to lessen suffering.

The very young should be trained in this ideal. Girlsshould early have instilled into their minds reverence for all the functions in their natures pertaining to the maternal. At the approach of womanhood, a sign of the development and ripening of the ovules occurs in what is called menstruation. Girls should be taught that this is a symbol of motherhood, a sign that the ovules are being prepared for the fructifying principle. They have already learned that the ovule of flowers is found embedded in a cell to which pollen is carried from the anthers through the stigma. Thus seed germination is

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accomplished. Speaking plainly, it is the sexual intercourse of plant life, from which baby plants are produced.

There is such a close analogy sexually between human and plant life that it should be taught with the same freedom and reverence. Most emphatically the young should never receive the idea of shame or debasement in connection with any natural function.

A girl should know that the highest goal of her life is reproduction. All signs pointing to this should be joyfully welcomed. The indications of womanhood are a pledge of motherhood. The inherent maternal instinct has been expressed in fondness for dolls, foreshadowing the joys of maternity; she gladly learns that maturity gives her the possibility of its fulfillment. Women must understand that child-bearing is a natural expression of creative energy.

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[paragraph continues] They and their physicians have looked upon and treated the function as a disease, and ignorantly coddled and encouraged the disorders attending it. Maternity is a divinely appointed mission, - to be a mother is a sacred trust. To reverence this trust and to come into close communion with the heart of all life replaces fear and dread with joy and satisfaction. This is an agreement with nature's plan, a law of spirit. Acknowledgement of and obedience to this law lessen or entirely overcome the usual sufferings of pregnancy and of parturition.

Fearing nothing, but hoping and expecting the greatest earthly felicity, women will cease to dread or to prevent childbearing on account of the dangers attending it, for through knowledge there is nothing to fear.

For the sake, however, of the best conditions for the development and birth of the child,

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men and women should intelligently and consciously control the fecundating power. Every child has a right to a parentage of thoughtful preparation, to the best that can be given him. In Karezza this right of the unborn child is fulfilled. He becomes the inheritor of love's behests and wise designs, which shape and mold his entire life and character.

It has been taught that to fulfill literally the command to "multiply and replenish" means that it is God's law to submit to chance conception. Under other similar circumstances, that which would be called an accident or incident, is in the procreation of a human being called a special providence.

In his undeveloped wisdom man may provide protection and education for his child, but fail to seek an opportunity for that child's conception,

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at a time when its protection and education can be assured.

Man takes circumstances into his own hands and accumulates a fortune for the child to inherit, but he does not give a thought to the conditions that bequeath to that child health and wisdom to enjoy and appropriate such an inheritance.

Men and women devote their best years to education and culture, to discoveries of ethnology in language, history and art, to the interpretation of Norse legends and Oriental myths, to the deepest philosophical and metaphysical questions, but in all this learning and wisdom not one thought is ever breathed that will give to a child an inheritance of thoughtful preparation, and chosen conditions.

Men inaugurate kindergartens, schools and colleges for post-natal training, but in no wise

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do they institute plans and preparations for any pre-natal culture.

This lack of knowledge and instruction directly deprives children of the best birthright, and is nowise consistent with the many other measures inaugurated for the protection and development of human beings. We should accord to every child the great privilege of a birth that affords the best advantage possible, and to do this the time and occasion should be chosen for the purpose.

Karezza affords a certain scientific method of controlling procreation, one in which there can be no objection on account of health, and one that appeals to the reason of every thinking person.

Under wise control unwelcome children will be unknown, and the brand of selfish desires and indulgence will no longer be impressed upon the infant mind. As future generations understand

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the law of spiritual growth and mastery, their children will be superior in power and achievement to any heretofore known.

Why should we not accord to a human being even greater intelligence in its parenthood, its inception and development, than is given to the propagation of animals? Have we no intelligent protest against the ordinary chance procreation? Will not love, science and wisdom, combined with prophetic intelligence for the betterment of the race, devise and promulgate a theory of scientific reproduction?

O men of science and wisdom! Open your storehouses of knowledge, and pour it forth to supply this demand. O women with hearts full of love and intuition! Can you not tenderly lead your sisters to understand a wise and benign appropriation of their creative powers in which the welfare of offspring shall have first consideration?

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Shall not the world cease to be peopled by unloved and undesired children? Let love be the fulfillment of law, and let us have a race of men and women that will bless the wisdom, consideration and deliberation of their progenitors.

Breathe the spirit of progress into the institution of marriage and let all strive for descendants that shall glorify the centuries to come. Through thought force creative energy should project itself forward in time, and give our children's children a birthright of love and an inheritance more priceless than precious stones. Let us multiply the Emersons, the Savonarolas, the Catherines of Siena, for they in turn will bless the earth.

Next: Chap. 7: Free Motherhood