Margaret Sanger, "Havana Radio Broadcast," 2 Sept 1940.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Smith College Collections Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S72:145."

For a draft, see Margaret Sanger Microfilm Edition, Smith College Collections S72:0143.

Havana Radio Broadcast

September 1940

Ladies and Gentlemen: It is a very great pleasure for me to speak to you tonight and to bring to the mothers of Cuba and to all others who may be sympathetic to our cause, the greetings of our organization for planned parenthood, The Birth Control Federation of America.

The cause for which I have labored for the past twenty-five years is the cause of Motherhood itself. It has been a battle to free it from the dangers and the ignorance which makes child bearing a tragic waste of life for mothers and infants as well. There are more mothers lost in child birth in the world than there are soldiers killed on the battlefield. This loss of mothers’ lives is not necessary and can be avoided if the mother is given the information and instructed in the means to space the births of their children from two to three years. It should be her right to have only that number of children that her health will permit and her husband’s earning power can support.

It is a tragic fact that the poorest mothers in the world today have the largest families. The well to do--the educated parents are informed as to what to do to control the size of the family but the working man’s wife is kept in ignorance and conscripted to spend her life in child bearing. Many of these children are doomed to death before they breathe the first breath of life. The mother hard work, her lack of proper food, her own diseased body and her ignorance all combine to deprive the unborn child of its rights to live through its first year.

During the past ten years at the clinic of which I am Director, The Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, where poor mothers can come and obtain scientific information from our doctors, we have had over eighty thousand mothers whose case histories bear witness to the fact that women die needlessly in child birth. Their lives can be saved by giving them knowledge to space pregnancies or control or limit the number of children the mother should have. We have saved by our work thousands of lives and we are saving them everyday. Now we must insist that the Government through its Public Health workers shall also provide proper scientific information for the poorest mothers, the mothers on farms, in homesteads, in factories who now are unable to obtain this knowledge which will in many instances save their lives.

Millions of dollars are being spent on health and welfare but nothing is being spent to help fathers and mothers to obtain means to help themselves. We want to save the lives of mothers and infants and to bring into the world only children sound in body and mind. It is not quantity we need but the quality of life must now be given proper consideration if we will bring Peace on Earth Good Will to Men” over the face of the Globe.

I thank you and wish you Good bye.

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