Margaret Sanger, "Buffalo Speech on Establishing a Clinic," 15 Nov 1929.

Source: " Buffalo Courier-Express ."

Sanger was in Buffalo, NY on November 14, 1929 and had a meeting at Susan Fiske Rumsey's House.


Suggests Plans for Clinic in Buffalo

Interest shown; Mrs. Margaret Sanger tells of work of legislation committee

Buffalo will probably have a birth control clinic modeled after that in New York City, of which Mrs. Margaret Sanger is the director. Great interest in the project was evinced yesterday afternoon following the talk given by Mrs. Sanger at the home of Mrs. Dexter P. Rumsey in Delaware avenue on the work of the committee for federal legislation on birth control, and Mrs. Sanger gave suggestions for the formation of such a clinic. She advised first the formation of a medical committee with a lay committee to sanction the work, and she estimated that $5,000 a year would cover the expense of the clinic.

Mrs. Sanger, who has been called “the stormy petrel of the birth control movement,” and who is famous for her conviction that the growth of the population should be legally controlled fairly covered the case for the birth control movement in this country.

At present she is working for a change in a law passed by Congress 56 years ago by which birth control information is classed with “obscene writings,” and can not be sent through the mails.

“That well-meaning man, Anthony Comstock, backed the bill when it was passed, and I believe that if Comstock himself saw the sum total of misery and horror that law has caused he would wish to have it changed,” Mrs. Sanger declared.

“Populations have always been controlled,” Mrs. Sanger said. “In the earliest days they were controlled by the methods of nature, pestilence, famine, and war; later unwanted children were killed off or abandoned. Now we know that these methods are not the methods of civilization.

“We hope that we’re through with wars. We’re doing everything to keep the unfit alive, and our civilization is seriously threatened. How far are we going to allow the unfit to increase, the insane to return to their homes on parole, with no protection to society against their bringing into the world demanded offspring? From these ranks we’re recruiting the future generations.

“How philanthropic we are, and, to a certain extent what miserable results we are getting! Nine billions spent on diseased, defective, delinquent, and criminal! If we could use those nine billions on normal, fit children we could surpass anything Rome or Greece ever dreamed of.”

Mrs. Sanger pointed out that 90 percent of children who die in the first year of life die from causes due to poverty and neglect; she pointed out that, “we are getting particular about the kind of people we are letting into this country; the government has recognized that there must be a selective quota.

“There is one class of people that has been controlling the size of the family, and there you see your best people today. In the other group you see every social problem entrenched, with all its hopelessness of life, inertia, and feeble-mindedness.

“The better class of people will never be able to have larger families, and keep up their standards of living until you take the support of the other crowd off their backs.”

Mrs. Sanger said that, while birth control clinics are legal under the state law, and may give instruction for the cure or prevention of disease, it is, under the federal law, illegal to send the address of the clinic through the mails.

Among those who attended the lecture where Mrs. Charles Gurney, Mrs. Ernest Hill, Mrs. William C. Warren, Mrs. Alfred Schoellkopf, Mrs. Dudley Irwin, Mrs. Henry P. Burgard, Mrs. McGee Wyckoff, Mrs. Lyman Bass, Mrs. John Satterfield, Mrs. Seymour White, Mrs. Carlton Smith, Miss Maria Love, Mrs. Franz Vissert Hooft.

On the committee were:

Mrs. Henry O. Burgard, 3d, Mrs. Harold T. Clement, Mrs. Thomas F. Cooke, Mrs. Jesse C. Dann, Jr., Mrs. Emile F. Dupant, Mrs. Davis T. Dunbar, Mrs. J. Sterling Deans,Mrs. James C. Evans, Mrs. John G. Evans, Miss Opal Fisher, Mrs. Edward E. Franchot, Mrs. Alexander Galt, Miss Marguerite Gane, Mrs. Lawrence H. Gardner, Mrs. Frank H. Goodyear, Mrs. Bradley J. Gaylord, Mrs. Nelson M. Graves, Mrs. Frederick C. Gratwick, Dr. Frances Hollingshead, Mrs. Arthur E. Hedstrom, Mrs. Ernest M. Hill, Mrs. William B. Hoyt, Mrs. James R. Ingham, Mrs. Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Mrs. Edmund B. McKenna, Mrs. Richard K. Noye, Mrs. George F. Plimpton, Mrs. H. Ten Eyck Perry, Mrs. Dexter P. Rumsey, Mrs. Mrs. Thomas Robins, Jr., Mrs. Alfred H. Schoellkopf, Mrs. Ansley W. Sawyer, Mrs. S. V. R. Spaulding, Mrs. William Schoellkopf, Mrs. Daniel W. Streeter, Mrs. Frank St. John Sidway, Mrs. Reginald B. Taylor, Mrs. Wilma Vanderwall, Mrs. Ward W. Wickwire, Miss Cecil B. Wiener, Mrs. William C. Warren.


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