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Margaret Sanger, "Bryn Mawr College Liberal Club Speech Notes>," 21 Nov 1924.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm, Smith College Collections S70:1067."

Notes on speech to the Bryn Mawr College Liberal Club. A final version was not found. Portions of these notes were also used in Sanger's The Necessity of Birth Control," Dec. 19, 1928.

Bryn Mawr

There are few subjects which have so large a practical significance, and at the same time cut so deeply into the foundations of Social Evolution, as Birth Control.

There have been few other questions of equal importance left so long in equal obscurity, & none perhaps which can show so unequaled a leap in our social vista as birth control has done in so brief a period of time.

What is B. C.?

Our definition is conscious control of birth rate. Scientific means prevent conception of human life.

Why--you may ask is it necessary to prevent the conception of human life.

Because civilization is confronted with two serious problems.

1) That of the pressure of population on the food supply.


2) That of reconciling humanitarianism with race improvement.

B. C. is the key to both of these problems.

History supports the fact that war famines, pestilence have always operated to settle the population problem. With the development of humanitarianism natures methods tend to be checked. Consequently civilization is menaced by the increasing swarming hordes of diseased, feebleminded & unfit.

Dr Myers statement ↑out of 105 million only 15 can be called intellectual.↓

Two classes large & small

small health wealth leisure comfort> education>

large disease poverty ignorance slums overcrowding child labor unemployment

Charities & philanthropy increasing to ameliorate these conditions.

8 Billions spent on 4 D's-- Disease, defect, delinquent, dependence. Next year more--more people.

Legislation & palliative are useless--get at the root.

Maternal mortality--20,000} tb. kidney heart.

Infant mortality 200,000} too frequent children too close interrupted pregnancy.

Feeble minded, 400,000.

Insane-- Parole--

Child labor, 3 million-- Federal law} older children pushed out to compete.

Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

If Child could choose its Parents.

Ships scanned-- Immigration laws.

Our government agents scan the ships coming into these shores for diseased idiots insane or paupers--when found they are promptly returned to land of birth.

But while doing this very effective ↑thing↓ & safeguarding act from the country from without--we encourage the propagation & multiplication of the same types from within.

We have laws to keep out of the country certain types of people--

While we have laws to increase their numbers at home.

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