The tragedy and combat behind the French family planning movement

In July 1955, Ginette and Claude Bac were handed a two-year prison sentence for involuntarily causing the death through lack of care of their fourth child, eight-month-old Danielle. The tragedy of how Ginette Bac became lost in a deep depression after falling pregnant four times in as many years became a turning point in France for the campaign to legalise contraception, and led to the creation of the country’s family planning association. Mathilde Blézat reports.

Mathilde Blézat (La Déferlante)

28 February 2023 à 12h04

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In 1952, Ginette Bac had been married to Claude Bac for four years. They lived in a cramped apartment in Saint-Ouen, a working-class, industrial suburb just north of Paris, and already had by then three young children. Ginette, who had, since her birth, suffered from a paralysis of her right arm, was becoming submerged by the domestic tasks of preparing meals, cleaning the home, and washing nappies and clothes by hand.

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