Margaret Sanger, "Margaret Sanger on Television Channel 13, Tucson," 27 Dec 1959.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S72:987."


MARGARET SANGER on Television Channel 13, Tucson

December 27, 1959 1. I think President Eisenhower was mistaken in saying that Birth Control is no part of Government policy, but is merely a “religious question”. I believe he had insufficient information when he made those remarks. I hope he will revise his statement.
I challenge him to debate the issue of whether or not Birth Control is a proper part of Government Health and Welfare policy for World Peace. I will be pleased to debate with him at any time and place.
If he prefers to avoid a public debate, I will be glad to confer with him, at his pleasure, about Birth Control, Family Planning and Population Limitation for World Peace.
2. The President ought to be guided by, and put into effect, the recommendations of the Draper Committee which he appointed. These recommendations are:
"We recommend that in order to meet more effectively the problems of economic development, the United States (1) assist those countries with which it is cooperating in economic aid programs, on request, in the formulation of their plans designed to deal with the problem of rapid population growth, (2) increase its assistance to local programs relating to maternal and child welfare. . . . and (3) strongly support studies and appropriate research. . . .to meet the serious challenge posed by rapidly expanding populations. . . . .”
3. World Peace can come only if leaders and statesmen of the world, including our President, recognize the importance of Birth Control, Family Planning, and Population Limitation. Prime Minister Nehru, Premier Kishi, and President Ayub, among others, recognize this fact. They are making Birth Control part of official government services for Health and Welfare. President Eisenhower should help these other nations, and our own country, in a similar way to gain World Peace.
4. It is a mistake to allow Roman Catholic prelates to influence the President’s thinking to the extent that his statements reflect their dogmatic view that Birth Control is merely a “religious matter”, rather than a medical, health, and World Peace benefit. The contrary declaration by the Roman Catholic officials in the United States should not be allowed to dominate this Government’s policy in our country of free religions where the majority of us are not Roman Catholics.
5. Families and mothers in Connecticut and Massachusetts ought to be granted freedom to obtain medical care from their own doctors, which includes contraceptive prescriptions.
6. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee ought to be guided by, and to implement, the recommendations made at its request by the Stanford Research Institute. These recommendations are:
“. . . .There is nothing to suggest complacency in the face of the world’s threatening population and production problems. . . .population control will therefore become imperative; the population problem is already acute in some parts of the world. Current scientific developments indicate that. . .a safe, effective, and inexpensive oral contraceptive, could soon be available if the comparatively small amount of research now under way in this field were stepped up . . . .(p. 2)
“World hunger and population control present major long-term international policy problems to the United States and to the other nations of the world. . .. Some means of controlling population growth are inescapable. The traditional means have been disease, famine and war. If other means are to be substituted, conscious national and international policies will be required.

“Population pressures can become significant causes of social unrest and war. In certain parts of the world overpopulation is already prevalent, and new approaches to the problem are urgently required. While some $30 billion are spent each year on the worldwide attack on mortality, only a few million dollars are allocated to programs which affect birth rates. A possible approach would be for the U.S. Government to study. . . .the possibility of providing research funds to certain foreign agencies and laboratories. . . for the large-scale human testing of devices, which is so necessary but difficult to conduct without adequate cooperation and funds. In this way those governments and peoples that feel the problem to be acute would be enabled to speed up their quest for the physical, biological, and social knowledge needed to check population growth by means other than disease, famine, and war.” (p. 40)

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