Margaret Sanger, "Important Reasons for Amending Existing Birth Control Laws," 4 Feb 1935.

Source: " Unity, Feb. 4, 1935 Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Collected Documents Series C16:0373."


Important Reasons for Amending Existing Birth Control Laws

1 Federal Laws Passed in 1873, class birth control with obscenity. This stigma should be removed from a subject affecting public health. 2 Federal laws conflict with State laws. Doctors are confused as to the legal status of the subject. Physicians fear giving contraceptive advice. Study and medical research are hampered. 3 Physicians legally giving advice in their States are forced to “bootleg” their contraceptive supplies and scientific information, for Federal Laws forbid using U.S. mails or common carriers to obtain or send contraceptive information or supplies. Physicians may choose to violate Federal Laws in private practice; but they cannot do so in hospitals, dispensaries, etc., lest the charters and endowments of such institutions be revoked. Consequently, poor women are unable to obtain this knowledge. 4 Commercial agencies masquerade under misleading names--exploiting the needs of these women. 5 Federal laws make it illegal to send the address of birth control clinics (legally operating under State laws) to overburdened mothers seeking help. 6 The medical organizations most familiar with this subject have gone on record in favor of amending these laws: The American Gynecological Society (1925); Section of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Abdominal Surgery of the American Medical Association; The Medical Women's National Association; National Committee on Maternal Health, Inc. 7 Increased knowledge of contraception would mean a reduction in the number of criminal abortions. Over 15,000 women each year die from this cause alone. 8 Lastly: During this period of economic distress and unemployment, wives and mothers should be able to obtain through responsible medical channels, this form of constructive relief.


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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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