Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The Aesop of the novel is that birth control should be legalized. It's easy to forget how controversial a statement this once was. In the US, it had only been legalized nationally by the 1964 Supreme Court decision of Griswold vs. Connecticut, or only two years before the book was released. Even then, it was illegal for unmarried couples to use birth control until 1972 (Eisenstadt v. Baird). Since then, along with abortion, better agricultural techniques, medicine, etc. global population rates have dropped increasingly, especially in the most developed countries. YMMV on whether this is a good thing or not, of course.