Margaret Sanger, "Mt. Holyoke Lecture," 18 Nov 1929.

Source: " Mrs. Sanger Urges Spread of Education for Relief, Mt. Holyoke News, Nov. 23, 1929."

Sanger's speech was not located; press coverage provides details.


Mrs. Sanger Urges Spread of Education for Relief

"The United States is particular about who comes into the country from the outside. It has found the selective quota to be a success. Why doesn’t it try a selective quota to judge who should come into the country from the inside?" suggested Margaret Sanger, speaking on the subject of Birth Control to an enthusiastic audience in the Chapel last Monday evening.

Birth control, she explained, does not mean limiting the number of children in every family in the United States. It merely means the weeding out of the socially undesirable, the unwanted before their conception. The United States spent $9,000,000 in 1927 on the four D’s--disease, defect, delinquency and death, and in the last three years has spent $18,000,000 in crime in one way or another. Of course this expense is perfectly all right as far as it goes, but there is the question whether it might not be more desirable to stop the reason for it? Birth control might not be a panacea for all crime and disease, but it would certainly go a long way toward curing it.

According to Mrs. Sanger, families that do not want more children, that have too many already, that cannot support them should be given a fair chance to limit their offspring. In the United States there are seven million children under fourteen years of age working in factories or in the field. Many of the parents of these children are getting wages scarcely sufficient to support themselves, much less a large family. Child-labor legislation is helpful in a way, but it does not go far enough. Mrs. Sanger urges that the evil be checked at its root.

There are other cases in which birth control is desirable. Transmissible diseases, such as epilepsy and insanity could be perhaps eliminated by this method; tubercular mothers and women with heart disease might be spared all the pain and suffering they are at present compelled to go through; subnormal children might be avoided.

Mrs. Sanger mentioned the various ways of controlling and regulating the birth rate, and said that of course the Birth Control League did not intend to force anything upon people who did not wish it. The primary aim of the League at present is to get Congress to lift the ban upon sending information regarding contraception through the mails to the suffering women who want it so badly, and to make it legal for doctors to be able to give aid in other than diseased cases.

In closing the speaker quoted Sir Arthur Heath who has declared: "There is developing in the United States the greatest experiment in race building the world has ever seen, and birth control is an integral part of that movement."

A discussion of a tea held for Sanger at the Gateway and a dinner held at Hillside have been omitted by the MSPP editors.

Interviewer Notes Charm of Birth Control Advocate

"Birth control inspires parents to consider not only the physical welfare of the child, but to consider its inheritance and its potentialities as a race bearer."


Subject Terms:

Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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