Margaret Sanger, "Light for Mexico and South America," Feb 1920.

Source: " Birth Control Review, Feb. 1920, p. 15."

This unsigned article was likely written by Margaret Sanger.

Light for Mexico and South America

One of the recent important developments in the Birth Control movement is that which is manifesting itself vigorously in Latin America. Every mail brings us, from some country to the south of us, letters of encouragement. These letters give evidence of the fact that independent thinkers have recognized the necessity of woman's freedom as the first step in solving the problems with which the masses are confronted. One man who has been active in behalf of Birth Control in South America writes from a city in Colombia: "Every day that passes away I realize more and more what a great help Birth Control is going to be in the near future. Here in this poor country they need more of that help than any other. People of the lower class here live like pigs. They used to have from six to eighteen children and almost all died before being three years old. If you could look at the statistics in this country you would see that the mortality of children under three years old is awfully high. I saw a report stating that the births in one week had been 128 and the infant mortality 122 among the poor people. This is terrible, Mrs. Sanger, and I wish I could use all my power, money and knowledge to help those poor women of this beloved but unhappy country of mine."

A birth control group in Colombia is also planning to translate THE BIRTH CONTROL REVIEW into Spanish for the benefit of the native populations of all Latin American countries. It is needless to say that all available information concerning contraceptive methods has already been translated and is in circulation. A group headed by a North American woman in Buenos Aires has its branch of the movement well under way. Literature is being distributed and a general interest is being aroused.

Coming nearer home, there is also a lively movement in Mexico, with headquarters in the capital city of the republic. In that country, one of the most familiar sights is that of beggar women, mothers of from nine to sixteen children, clustered about the doors of the church, to claim the charity of the worshippers and to divide their gains with the church itself.

To offset this misery, the Birth Control group have translated the literature of the movement into the native language and have distributed it widely. Although the church is opposed to this activity and spares no pains to prohibit it, the present government of Mexico has been liberal enough to refuse to prosecute these workers for humanity. The women of Mexico are moving on toward their freedom. One of the important recent events in the City of Mexico was a feminist conference, which was widely attended and attracted general attention. With women asserting their rights, it will not be long until they claim the fundamental right of controlling their own productive functions.

A new day is dawning for the women of the world and the women of Latin America are claiming their right to the light.

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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project