Margaret Sanger, "An 'Intimate Talk' notes," 12 May 1931.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S71:222."

Margaret Sanger gave a speech at the Washington Auditorium in Washington, DC, on May 12, 1935. No final version was found. Sanger told this audience that "a birth control clinic in the nation's capital will be organized in the near future." (Birth Control Clinic, Bend Bulletin, May 13, 1931.)


No subject that has so large & practical significance works at the same time cuts so deeply.

Hugo's no force in the world so great as that of an idea.

Anglican bishops at Lambeth last July.

British Medical Ass.

Ministry of Health in England--maternal & infant centers

Encyclical from Rome pronouncing against it.

Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America.

Presbyterian, Methodist, Unitarian, Universalist & National Rabbis Ass.

Finally and at last, Academy of Medicine in New York City.

Indicates that BC in the keynote new social. Not only a health & economic experiment. Social principle interlocked. Spiritual development of woman & the moral progress of the race.

G.B. Shaw says most revolutionary idea of the 20th Century. H.G. Wells says it's the most momentous fact of modern life. Dean Inge St. Paul's Cathedral--it's here to stay--a great force for good or evil--churches to open their ears--or close their doors.

B.C conscious control of the birth rate by means that meant conception of life. Prevent, not destroy, not interfere after contraception. Control--not limit, furnace, automobile, traffic. Conscious control. Deliberate, intentional choice, not chance. Positive, not negative attitude.

Why control birth rate: Because Two Problems

Confront Civilization

(a) Pressure of population on means of sustenance (b) Reconciling humanitarian efforts with race [improvement]

[Carathmitics?] the Science of Numbers. Eugenics the Science of quality of life.

Birth control or contraception could or so directed & used that it solves both problems. Prof. Ross tells us that over 200,000,000 new souls form into the world last year--50,000 each day.

Two ways to control population (a) Increase death-rate--jeopardize the living (b) Decrease birth-rate improve quality of life

History supports fact that death rate, through disease, famines, pestilence, floods, crimes & war controlled population. Civilization will no longer allow these methods to operate. Nature's methods prevailed & ruthlessly the old & the young, feeble & weak were thrust to the wall.

Today we protest the weak & diseased & allow them to increase endangering civilization which is measured by the increasing hands of diseased & damaged.

Differential birth rate--85 -- population mental.

equipment of juveniles under 14 years--(15 mil feeble

15% intellectual--45 subnormal, 15 feeble minded, 25 mediocre

birth rate low--birth rate high

small families--large families, family large in this group

health, wealth, happiness, culture, school, colleges, positions--disease, ignorance, slums, overcrowding, infant mortality, maternal mortality, child labor, unemployment, crime.

individual problems?--social problems here

13 billions spent 1928, public & private charities

5 billions including crime

White House Conference, 1930

[[unclear number]?] million handicapped children in U.S.A.

[number illegible] infant deaths. 90% poverty & neglect

[one word illegible] nurseries, milk stations, mental, post natal clinics.

nurses & social workers to deal with environment.

[[unclear]?] effort to instruct mothers often how to avoid the 11th.

200,000 infants 90% poverty & neglect

Children's Bureau Dept. of Labor

3 factors in infant mortality (1) father's wage (2) interval 3 years (3) place in family

Death of 2nd child, less than 100 per M

“ ” 7th “ over 350 “ ”

“ ” 12th “ over 600 “ ”

60% of 12th babies die - waste of vitality

Over 250,000 children are being cared for in institutions. Applications for twice that number was then room to care for them.

50 years of compulsory care of children, education, [[unclear]?] offices, juvenile courts,

see indications that parents are unequal to the tasks of producing proper guidance for their own uncontrolled fertility.

Prevention of Cruelty to Children--form in disease, want, form of [one word illegible] damaged & unfit vehicles to carry the precious sparks of life.

Anyone can have children - animal function

Cruelty, feebleminded, ignorant, animals protected

Passports for babies, Bureau for Parents

U.S. Immigration laws 1924.

7 Reasons or conditions necessitate BC practice

3 means continued, sterilization, chemical & [mechanical]

Laws - Federal - Clinics Medical Profession

[one word illegible] in Arthur Keith, anthropologist, unfolding in America. greatest experiment for race building the world has ever seen.


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