Margaret Sanger, "United Press Interview," 17 Jan 1934.

Source: " Congressional Birth Control Probe Starts, Dunkirk Evening Observer, Jan. 18, 1934."


Congressional Birth Control Probe Starts

Hearings Begin on Legislation Which Margaret Sanger Has Backed.

On the eve of the Congressional hearing, Mrs. Margaret Sanger, foremost champion of the movement, said to the United Press: “In a period when we are permanently reconstructing our national economic order by regulation of industry, and the production of our basic necessities of life, it is even more important that we give attention to the control and proper distribution of our population.

“It is an acknowledged fact that the big battalions of babies have made the workman’s life a constant battle to keep his productive labor powers up to the need of his reproductive powers. We also know that the revolution in modern industry has made the necessity for man-power of less value than the ox or dray horse.

“Populations have been kept down in the past by keeping the death rate almost equal to the birth rate. The survival rate was very low, but it allowed for a healthy, fit population and enabled it to compete in the struggle for existence.

“Today we have changed all this. We cannot allow disease, floods, and famine to spread over a civilized land. We must deal with our birth rate scientifically, as we have dealt with our other problems. “Science has been applied to the improvement or selection of every type of human activity, including the means of destruction in war, except to humanity itself.

Already Control Population

“We have already an element of population control in immigration restrictions which bar economically dependent or diseased persons. But we must go further. I predict that with the continuation of advance in machine production we will never again need the hordes of workers needed in the past and we must provide against the suffering of those who will thus be deprived of work.

“We are seeking passage of Federal legislation which will permit physicians, hospitals and public health agencies to give out birth control information. This will automatically enable thousands of medical institutions to provide needed assistance for wives of unemployed men, as well as for overburdened mothers who cannot afford service of private physicians.”

Mrs. Sanger said that more than 13,000 women die each year from the results of criminal abortions alone, most of which might be avoided. The United States Penal Code classes birth control with obscenity and forbids the use of the mails for supplying information on the subject, or any carrying agency to carry materials for birth control. The bill under consideration would allow doctors these privileges.


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