NL 2007/03

Documenting Success - From Infanticide to Contraception





Dear friends of the Museum of Contraception and Abortion,

We are very pleased to announce that as of March 16, 2007, the Museum of Contraception and Abortion will open to the public. This first and only museum of its kind displays the struggle for control over fertility - from early centuries to the present with a glance into the future. The museum aims to provide a greater understanding of the power of fertility and the necessity of regulating it.

Address: 37 Mariahilfer Guertel / 1st floor, A-1150 Vienna, Austria
phone +43 699 178 178 04, fax: +43 1 892 25 81
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 2PM to 6PM
Tickets: 8 Euros. Discounts: 4 Euros (up to age 22 with ID)

Public Access: Underground Lines 3 and 6/Westbahnhof Station, Exit Äussere Mariahilfer Strasse
Tram Lines 6, 18, 58: Westbahnhof Station. No parking site. Bikes can be placed in the inner yard.
Guided tours: Tours for classes (90 minutes) must be booked in advance: +43 699 178 178 02 or at verhuetung@aon.at

Listen to the audio-tour from inside or outside the museum (local rate): for contraception dial +43 1 236 300 00 and add no. of respective panel. For abortion dial +43 1 236 300 01 and add no. of respective panel.
Visit the museum online at www.muvs.org

Documenting Success: From Infanticide to Contraception

Under “natural” circumstances, a woman has approximately 15 pregnancies in her lifetime, resulting in ten births, depending on health, sanitation, housing conditions, access to clean water and proper nutrition, etc. Approximately seven of those ten births survive childhood. For economic, social or other reasons, most people neither presently nor historically want so many children.

For all generations and in most cultures, regulating the number of offspring has been and remains an essential issue. To do so, contraception, abortion and infanticide have been practiced.

Preconditions for using contraception and abortion are:

• Development of effective and safe methods based on medical and/or magical knowledge of the relevant time
• Unrestricted access to information as to methods and alternatives
• Permission to use known methods (given laws, religion, social structures, relationship)
• Understanding of implications
• Using these methods must have an advantage over
o either more offspring
o or possible infanticide

Further conditions for contraception:
• Availability (fee, rent, exchanges or free)
• Regular use of a chosen method
• Perceived advantage over abortion

These premises have been guaranteed only in the last decades and in only a quarter of the countries worldwide. Most women/couples have had and still have little or no access to effective contraception or safe abortion. „Safe abortion“ indicates a procedure conducted under "State of the Art" conditions. This is only possible if abortion is legalized, otherwise it will (again) be performed on hidden kitchen tables.

Day after day 910,000 conceptions occur, of which 580,000 lead to pregnancies. Due to errors in very early development, a large number of fertilized eggs either fail to implant or to develop further.

Two-thirds of all such pregnancies were planned, 60% of all pregnancies result in births. The remainder either abort spontaneously (15%) or are terminated (22%). The medically unsafe procedures performed in many abortions frequently cause severe complications and 68,000 deaths worldwide per year. On the other hand, a medically safe abortion is less risky than a birth.


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While many interesting objects have already been donated to the Museum, we are still happy to receive items such as films, posters, leaflets, books, documents, statistics, devices and instruments for contraception, for pregnancy-testing and for abortion - from past and present times from here and around the world.


Museum of Contraception and Abortion
phone: +43 699 178 178 04 (Susanne Krejsa PhD)
+43 699 159 731 90 (Christian Fiala MD PhD)
email: mailto:info@muvs.org

You can also support us by sponsoring the purchase of objects, which otherwise we would not be able to finance.