Margaret Sanger, "The Importance of Population Control Speech Notes," 14 Nov 1941.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S72:331."

Sanger gave this speech in both Memphis, TN and El Paso, TX. The speech title was taken from "Birth Control Leader Visits City Overnight," El Paso Times, Nov. 16, 1941. No final version of the speech has been found.

Memphis--Tennessee Nov. 14/41

BC keynote of a new Social awakening health & economic expedient--Social principle!!

There is no subject that so large & practical significance, which at the same time cuts so deeply into the foundations of Social evolution & as Bc. No other subject of equal importance left so long in equal obscurity & lacks official recognition as Bc yet none which can show a stronger scientific support & a natural & Intimate interest than this subject has had during the past ten years.

Shaw Wells Huxley Inge Darwin

Definition of Bc

The English speaking world has given us the prestige & support of its greatest minds--but this is not enough for we who are responsible for lauding the idea into our civilization must see that it is directed into constructive channels that it will benefit the greatest number.

Billions spent on Disease ↑Defect↓ Delinquency Dependency--now add Defense. small families--large families.

Labor Saving machinery 11 million unemployed

16000 adult persons illiterate

6000000 under 21 are subnormal

5000 can not pass beyond 4th grade

10000000 crippled

Democracy--Is America Safe for it? Institutions are full & overcrowding inmates who can not compete in the struggle for life.

Nothing to give to civilization--use up energies & resources of the world.

Keep them alive--yes--but forbid the possibility of their increasing their numbers

Reasons ↑practical↓ for Bc { trans-spacing [through?] Economic

Legal barriers--none in Tennessee

Public health--630 clinics--

Huxley--discovery ↑mastery↓ of fire--invention of Stone house discovery of electricity. invention & art of fruiting Peace of Earth

Europe in ↑year of↓ 1800 had 200 million people. Emigration was at its height. 1914 there were 600 million which exploded into a world war & nearly wiped out our civilization.

Germany since 1910 had been shouting to the world that she had to have more land for her growing numbers. In 1914 there were approximately 70 millions. Germany lost the war--lost 10 millions men--lost territory.

In 1937 she had increased her population & had as high a density of population per sq mile as she had in 1914.

Italy & Japan--have no natural resources to build up industries to exchange for food to keep alive their growing numbers textiles

Peace Treaties are useless until we discuss basic factors of war. Nat Resources. Raw Material Population growth

USA 131,500,000 in 1940 ↑Increased 31 million in 25 years--↓ Parran--44 million poorly clothed, housed & fed. 1 million mothers have no after care.

Childrens Bureau--60% of children born from families on relief or with wages of 1500 a week or less!!!

78,000 still born--

50000 infants die in 2 weeks after birth.

150,000 mothers & infants die annually.

60% of these deaths are needless.

25% mothers deaths known before the child was born!!!

Think of this record for irresponsibility of our officials in high places.

3 years spacing ↑(die)↓ 86 to 1000 births 2 years spacing 98 to 1000 1 year spacing 147 to 1000

Place in family 1- to 12 child 60% doomed to die--

Memphis & Shelby County ten years past 2275 still births 2142 newborn deaths 342 maternal deaths.


Univ of Chicago made a private study of what the children born today will be 15 years from now.

Its a study of tremendous waste--with its high percentage of mentally deficient, maladjusted problem children tubercular, delinquent, crippled dead-- All these conditions can be scientifically predicted if conditions remain as they are in Public affairs.

Woman to say when.

Man how many.

Freedom from Fear.

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