Margaret Sanger, "Birth Control--Not a New Idea," 22 Nov 1922.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S70:945 Birth Control, Catholic Telegraph, Nov. 23, 1922, p. 1 and 4.."

Sanger drew from these notes for a speech to the First Ohio State Conference on Birth Control, held at the Hotel Gibson. Other speakers included Juliet Barrett Rublee, Eleanor Rowland Wembridge, and Jerome Fisher. Sanger's speech have been supplemented with quotes from "Birth Control," Catholic Telegraph, Nov. 23, 1922. To see very similar notes for speeches given in Buffalo on Feb. 9, 1922, Indianapolis on Nov. 18, 1922, and Vancouver, Canada on July 3, 1923 (Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S70:928, 946, and 1000).


Nov 22-22 Cincinnati Ohio

Thank citizen stand.

B.C. keynote of a new social awakening.

Not a new idea--Nature, Plato. abortion Infanticide greatest crime of Western Europe middle ages 18 century

German 10,000 mothers

Infanticide ceased only when skill in abortion prevalent Abortion will cease when B.C.

B.C. key to greatest of human problems reconciling Democracy [Hum Christianity to race Im?]

Intelligence slow growth; reproductive powers far in advance.

Sentiment, development sympathetic, nervous system rescue, diseased, feebleminded etc erect institutions encourage reproduce their kind

Small family} Paris 16-132 Berlin 47-157 Vienna 71-200} health, happiness leisure colleges best positions body politics.

large family} ignorance poverty disease infant mortality maternal mortality overcrowding slums child labor

How do we meet these problems?

Legislative & charities alleviate

Try to reduce infant mortality by welfare work after birth

300,000 infants die } too frequent pregnancies-- children too close together. drugs & poisonous nostrums Inform parents how to prevent coming 300000 ↑3,000000 child laborers sunrise to sunset↓

22,000 mothers T.B. 7-4 die--heart disease kidney disease

abortions 10000 east side [possessions?] 89% Fall River Prevention cruelty children Society 25,000 deaths, U.S.A. largest number.

feeble minded 400,000 -- Goddard 34,000 85% prostitutes

Insane overcrowded

What are we doing? quacks curing a cancer.

Jukes & Kallicaks--in every State

Do Mothers want larger families?

Read letters from Ohio

When should all mothers ↑women not↓ have children?

1 transmissible disease 2 diseases of mother-T.B. 3 when children not healthy 4 at least 2 years apart not before 22 or 23 years 6 at least 1 year after marriage Economic

Mothers who would rather die--

Objections race suicide polygamy, promiscuity, illegitimacy, 19th Century birth rate decreased against laws of Nature--to bring life--self preservation Injurious to health ignorance destructive to health--fear Lead to Immorality. early marriage--cold wives-- Self Control (case of woman) l act year [two letters illegible] children Breaking the law continence!!

Holland, England, France, U.S.A.

after 8 months trip around the world. people ready accept practice

officials of governments blind to its importance

Church timid Dean Inge, Lord Dawson, People everywhere deliverence.

Not only Individual--world problem. H. G. Wells world swarming.

You cannot measure Greatness County size of population.

B.C. in 1 generation-- directed feeble diseased

Objects BC League arouse public dangers promiscuous breeding fighting women & children-- Establish clinics.

Birth Control

Mrs. Sanger rang the changes on the deplorable conditions brought about by the reproduction of the insane, the feeble-minded, the tubercular, the very poor, and the dependant. She told touching stories of young couples, struggling with adversity and babies during the first years of their married life. She described the hardships of poor mothers with large families. She said that it was cruel to deny the means of preventing conception to a woman, who does not want children; and she stated that abortion is very commonly practiced.

As an alleged panacea for all this and much more, Mrs. Sanger prescribes a system of birth control, which would provide physicians and nurses to intrust females in the ways and means of preventing conception. She claims these as some of the advantages of her system:

Newly-weds could enjoy marital life a year or so without fear of pregnancy. Women, who want children, can have children when they wish; and women, who do not like babies, need not have any. Parents can put more into the raising of a few children; and "we want a race of thoroughbreds."


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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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