Margaret Sanger, "Letter to Mother Earth," Apr 1916.

Source: " A Letter from Margaret Sanger, Mother Earth, Apr. 1916, pp. 492-93 Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Collected Documents Series C1:132."


THERE seems to be general dissatisfaction among the readers of MOTHER EARTH over the result of my trial.

Many of them have written me that the law remains unchanged. That any man or woman may still be rushed into prison, whose case may not be "dismissed."

True--all too true.

The Socialists have been telling us this for years. They have been telling us that "direct action" does not accomplish anything until the laws are changed."

You have taken an interest in my trial. You have written letters to Judge Dayton, U.S. Dist. Attorney and other officials requesting the dismissal of my case-You have pleaded the Cause of Birth Control thru thousands of letters to these officials-you have been heard-the authorities dismissed the case, as you requested-and now you are disappointed and "mad" at ME because they did it.

I made no requests of the authorities: on the contrary I informed them, before the case was dismissed, that I should continue my work until working women in America should have the same freedom to get Birth Control knowledge as the women of wealth.

I have tried to tell you that going into jail or staying out of it was of slight importance to me. My work--my Cause, is the cry of anguish which comes to me from the women of the Cotton Belt-the cry of working women tortured with the dread of child bearing and begging for relief from it. I am free and have relieved nearly three hundred of these women in the past four weeks: to continue to do this work-via direct action-is my Cause.

William Sanger went to jail-the law remained the same-I did not go to jail-you say the law remains the same. Then the Socialists must be right. Will Emma Goldman's trial change the law, or will it serve as William Sanger's and my case has served-as precedents only? Opinions expressed by several prominent members of the legal profession have been to the effect that the "dismissal" of my case by the Government is of far greater value as a precedent than an acquittal by a jury.

Comrades-let's on with our work and stop quibbling.


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