Margaret Sanger, "Letter to Woman Rebel Subscribers," 28 Oct 1914.
Source: " Neo-Malthusianism in the United States, The Malthusian Jan. 15, 1915, pp. 3-4Library of Congress Microfilm 129:2."
Sanger sent this letter to the subscribers of The Woman Rebel before she fled the United States to avoid prosecution for obscenity.
COMRADES AND FRIENDS,-
Every paper published should have a message for its readers. It should deliver it and be done. The Woman Rebel had for its aim the imparting of information of the prevention of conception. It was not the intention to labor on for years advocating the idea, but to give the information directly to those who desired it. The March, May, July, August, September, and October issues have been suppressed and confiscated by the Post Office. They have been mailed regularly to all subscribers. If you have not received your copies, it has been because the U.S. Post Office has refused to carry them on to you.
My work on the nursing field for the past fourteen years has convinced me that the workers desire the knowledge of prevention of conception. My work among women of the working class proved to me sufficiently that it is they who are suffering because of the law which forbids the imparting of this information. To wait for this law to be repealed would be years and years hence. Thousands of un-wanted children may be born into the world in the meantime, thousands of women made miserable and unhappy.
Why should we wait?
Shall we who have heard the cries and seen the agony of dying women respect the law which has caused their death?
Shall we watch in patience the murdering of 25,000 women, who die each year in U.S. from criminal abortion?
Shall we fold our hands and wait until a body of sleek and well fed politicians get ready to abolish the cause of such slaughter?
Shall we look upon a piece of parchment as greater than human happiness, greater than human life?
Shall we let it destroy our womanhood, and hold millions of workers in bondage and slavery? Shall we who respond to the throbbing pulse of human needs concern ourselves with indictments, courts, and judges, or shall we do our work first and settle with these evils later?
This law has caused the perpetuation of quackery. It has created the fake and quack who benefits by its existence.
Jail has not been my goal. There is special work to be done, and I shall do it first. If jail comes after, I shall call upon all to assist me. In the meantime, I shall attempt to nullify the law by direct action and attend to the consequences later.
Over 100,000 working men and women in U.S. shall hear from me.
The Boston Tea Party ws a defiant and revolutionary act in the eyes of the English Government, but to the American Revolutionist it was but an act of courage and justice.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project