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Birth Control Leases Barred

On April 20, 1946, New York State Governor Thomas E. Dewey signed into law a measure that forbid “birth control” leases. This resulted from a number of landlords across the state including a clause in their tenant’s lease that required them to remain childless and not bear children.

The bill had been introduced Assemblyman Louis Olliffe and it made violation of this law a misdemeanor for either the owner or the operator of any dwelling who attempted to enforce such a clause. This relieved the fear of couples all across the state who faced losing a roof over their heads should they bear a child.

Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.
Thomas E. Dewey in 1948. Library of Congress image.
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