Margaret Sanger, "Legal Obstacles to Racial Progress," 20 Feb 1930.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm, Smith College Collections S71:208."

Margaret Sanger gave this speech at a public "mass meeting" to end the Western States Conference on Birth Control and Population Problems, organized by the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control and held at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, on February 23, 1930. No final version of the speech was found. For another speech given at the same meeting, see "The Next Step," Feb. 20, 1930.


I want to add my words of thanks & appreciation to those of Mrs. Millikans

I too want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation & thanks to the Conference Committee for its co-operation in making possible this Conference. Especially do I appreciate the devotion given by those men & women of the Committee who ↑took time from their↓ professional duties to attend meetings & to carry out the plans of the conference. Those who do the most, get the most done.

The object of this conference is to call together those persons in these twelve Western States who ↑in the past↓ have shown an interest in the birth control or Population problem.

We want to organize the a Western States Region to co-operate with the ↑14↓ Mid Western States ↑ & 11↓ Eastern Regional States on a National programme for Federal legislation.

Already the 11 Eastern & 14 Mid Western States are organizing working together

We want at this conference to discuss a plan to effect an amendment to a Federal law passed by Congress over 54 years ago.

This law Sec. 211, was inspired & drafted by Anthony Comstock was rushed through Congress the last day of its session amid great hurry & confusion. Few Congressmen knew the nature of the law they were voting on.

Within a few weeks after it became known much criticism & indignation was amassed among the more progressive people & over 66,000 signatures were sent in protest to Congress requesting the repeal of that law.

Nothing however came of it & no concentrated effort was put forth to repeal or amend it from that [time?] (1876) to 1914 when the B.C. movement arose raised its cry ↑voice↓ in America.

What is this law. What does it do?


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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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