Friday, December 28, 2007

On December 28, ...

... 1967 (40 years ago today), after "passionate debates," France's National Assembly approved a law authorizing the use of contraceptives, though it did not permit reimbursement for contraceptives by the government's social security agency. The new law, dubbed Loi Neuwirth after the Assembly member who proposed it, displaced a 1920 law that had banned all contraception. Abortion would remain illegal in France until 1975. Here and here are Le Monde's retrospectives on the law that it says made "2 children, 3 years apart" the French standard.
... 1694, England's Queen Mary II died from smallpox in London, where she'd been born 32 years earlier. Brought up as a Protestant notwithstanding her parents' conversion to Catholicism, at age 15 Mary (right) married her cousin, William of Orange, and lived with him in Holland. After William invaded England and deposed her father, she and her husband became co-rulers of England. The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, was chartered by the couple in 1693.

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