Margaret Sanger, "Reply to Archbishop Hayes," 21 Nov 1921.

Source: " "Birth Control Aid Denied by Academy," New York Times, Nov. 22, 1921, p. 16.."

Multiple versions of Sanger's rebuttal were published in the New York Times, the New York Tribune, and the Birth Control Review. The rebuttal was part of a testimony in a hearing ordered by Police Commissioner Enright in response to the investigation of police suppression of the mass meeting at Town Hall that ended the First American Birth control Conference on November 13, 1921.For a partial draft version, see "Special Children (Rebuttal)" Nov. 1921, Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections, S73:0231.


Mrs. Margaret Sanger issued a statement yesterday in reply to the statement made by Archbishop Hayes on Sunday, setting forth the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church toward birth control. In it she said:"

I agree with the Archbishop that a clinic is the proper place to give information on birth control. I wish, however, to point out the fact that there are two sides to the subject under consideration--the practical information as distinct from a theoretical discussion. The latter may be rightly discussed on the public platform and in the press, as the Archbishop himself has taken the opportunity to do. The object of the American Birth Control League is two-fold--to arouse public discussion on the theoretical issue as well as to establish clinics where the practical information may be given to mothers through the medical profession.

The inference is often made by our opponents that the genius is born at the end of a large family, usually the eleventh or twelfth, or as quoted by the Archbishop, the fifteenth child (Franklin.) If the Archbishop will recall his Bible history he will find that some of the most remarkable characters were first children--and often the only child, as well. For instance, Isaac, in whose seed all the nations were to be blessed, was an only child, born after long years of preparation. Isaac’s only children were twins--Jacob, the father of all Israel, and Esau. Joseph, the child of Rachel, was born late in her life, and she had but one other child. Samuel, who judged Israel for forty years, was an only child, born after years of prayer and supplication on the part of Hannah. John the Baptist was an only child and his parents were well along in years when he was born. By the Roman Catholics, Jesus himself is said to be Mary's first as well as her only child.


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