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Bessie Louise Moses

Bessie Louise Moses made huge strides for birth control as a doctor, a teacher of medicine, and author of Contraception as a Therapeutic Measure in 1936. Moses graduated from Goucher College in 1915 and taught biology at Sophie Newcomb College and zoology at Wellesley before earning her doctorate from Johns Hopkins in 1922. She opened a private practice in Baltimore in 1924 but also worked as a gynecologist at Sinai Hospital, taught obstetrics at the Hopkins School of Medicine, and ran the Maternal Health Clinic at Hopkins Hospital. In 1927 she became founding director of the Bureau for Contraceptive Advice, the first birth control clinic in Baltimore, then went on to create birth control clinics throughout the state. She trained both white and African–American doctors in gynecology and contraception and lectured frequently at women’s colleges to reach as wide an audience as possible. In 1950 she and Margaret Sanger were the first women honored with the Lasker Foundation Award in Planned Parenthood. Moses was elected president of the Johns Hopkins Women’s Medical Association in 1954.

Bessie Louise Moses, circa 1922
Full image

Bessie Louise Moses (1893-1965), circa 1922.

Image courtesy of the MAryland Historical Society via Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth
December 21, 1893
Place of Birth
Baltimore, Maryland
Date of Death
March 25, 1965

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Bessie Louise Moses." (Viewed on December 17, 2018) <>.


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