United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries (1936)
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In the 1936 case United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, New York, confirmed that physicians had the right to distribute contraceptives to patients for medical purposes. In January 1933, US Customs confiscated a package of contraceptives imported from Japan by US physician Hannah Stone. They claimed that the package violated section 305 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which, like the 1873 anti-obscenity Comstock Act, granted the US government authority to seize contraceptive materials imported into the country or sent through the mail. The court ruled that US Customs was not justified in confiscating the package and ordered its return to Stone. United States v. One Package exempted physicians from the restrictions surrounding the distribution of contraceptives and contributed to the subsequent dismantling of the Comstock Act in later court cases.