In Canada in the 1960s people were organizing to give women control over their own bodies. The Birth Control Handbook was one of the ways Canadians took control over their own bodies. It was published by the McGill Student Society in 1968 (Rebick, 11). The Handbook sold millions of copies in Canada and internationally (Sethna, 2). This is because it was full of information about birth control that was illegal and therefore unknown to most Canadian women.
The Handbook is an important part of Canadian history. It was published contrary to the criminal codes restrictions on the distribution of material about birth control:
“Everyone is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to two years’ imprisonment who knowingly, without lawful excuse or justification, offers to sell, advertisers, publishes and advertisement of or has for sale or disposal any medicine, drug or article intended or represented as a means of preventing conception or causing abortion” (McLaren, 323)
Although the Handbook is not the first way that this kind of information was distributed it was one of the most widely distributed, and made an impact on thousands of women and on Canadian history.