Sheppard-Towner Act Law and Legal Definition

The Sheppard–Towner Act of 1921 authorizes federal aid to states for maternity, child health, and welfare programs. The object of the Act was to reduce maternal and infant mortality. The Act is officially known as the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act.

The Act to fulfill its objective conducted programs like:

1. establishing health clinics for women and children;

2. hiring physicians and nurses to educate and care for pregnant women and mothers and their children;

3. visiting nurses to educate and care for pregnant and new mothers;

4. providing midwife training; and

5. distributing nutrition and hygiene information.

The Act was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1922 but the Act continued to be in force until 1929.