Margaret Sanger, "Family Security," 07 Dec 1934.
Source: " Says Men More Interested in Birth Control Program, El Paso Herald Post, Dec. 7, 1934 Mrs. Sanger Meets at Luncheon with El Paso Doctors El Paso Herald Post, Dec. 8, 1934, p. 11."
The text of Sanger's speech was not found, coverage from two newspapers is provided instead.
Men, in organized groups, have taken a greater interest in birth control than women in the same status, it was declared today by Mrs. Margaret Sanger, nationally known birth control advocate, who spoke at the Altrusa Clubluncheon on “Family Security.”
“Men seem to realize its social importance with reference to relief and unemployment,” Mrs. Sanger said. “Women are interested as individuals but after they find out information, they are through being interested.”
And this link must be straightened in the chain of effort to obtain a big hook-up between welfare agencies and birth control clinics throughout the country, Mrs. Sanger maintains. It will be necessary to get the support of not only women's organizations but of every welfare agency and organization in every community to obtain the passage of the federal bill which will allow legal dissemination of birth control information and automatically open up 10,000 hospitals in the United States to persons who most need that information--those on relief, she says.
Statistics showing the decline of the birth rate doesn’t mean anything, because the population is greater, Mrs. Sanger said.
“Remember, there was a 17-million population increase from 1920 to 1930,” she said.
She quoted 1932 statistics given at the American Conference on Birth Control and National Recovery in Washingtonby Edgar Sydenstricker.
“The average annual birth rate in families on relief was 53 per cent higher than in those not on relief,” she said. “The birth rate in families which were receiving relief in 1932 was 210 as against 137 in families which were not receiving relief, a survey in four cities revealed."
Mrs. Sanger does not blame the families on relief, but the authorities and organizations in every community, she said.
“They won’t take a stand to enable these people to get the information they should have,” she said.
She also blames Rep. Hatton Sumners, chairman of the House Judiciary committee, for keeping the Birth Control Bill in the committee last year.
“Senator Ashurst of Phoenix, chairman of Judiciary of the Senate, allowed the bill to reach the senate,” she said.
Mrs. Sanger expects a fight against establishing a birth control clinic in Dallas, Representative Sumner’s home. She will go to Ft. Worthand Dallas after leaving here.
“But I believe the people in Dallas will put up a good fight for the clinic,”she said “Such a clinic was established in six weeks’ time in Tucson.”
“A business man paid a year’s rent for a cottage as headquarters. Co-operation is being given by the County Medical society and welfare agencies.”
Mrs. Sanger will confer with a group of El Paso men and women this afternoon on the establishment of a clinic here.
Portions of this article that do not describe this speech have been omitted.
Conscious control of the birth rate was stressed as the most important factor aimed for by the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control, Mrs. Sanger said at the Altrusa Club luncheon yesterday.
“We control everything nowadays except the most important thing of all,” she said. “We control our tempers, our appetites, our currency. But we allow the increase of children who cannot be given a chance at life, in homes which can not afford them, do not want them. And we carry the burden in our social program.”
No intelligence is being shown in the relief work, in any work for charity when children of unfit parents, or poverty-stricken parents are brought into the world in an increasing number, Mrs. Sanger pointed out.
“It is like trying to cure the cancer by burning it on top,” she said.
The average cost to maintain a person through the birth control clinic would be $2 a year, Mrs. Sanger said.
“Would you like to have knowledge?” is the question asked women at clinics.
“It is taking the information out of the pornographic class and giving it out from scientific centers which take care of the individual needs of the women,” Mrs. Sanger said.
She said that 51,000 women had been taken care of in her own New York Clinic, for which she served 30 days in jail.
“I never spent a better 30 days in my life,”she said.
In advocating young couples’ waiting two years after marriage to have children, Mrs. Sanger said:
“We have got to make more of marriage. We have never had the development of the woman. The boy never knows the girl as a woman. He knows her as a girl and next as mother of children.
“The wife never knows herself as a woman. She never gets the spiritual and mental development which should be hers between girlhood and motherhood.”
“There are 47 states with conflicting laws on birth control,” Mrs. Sanger said. Californiabootlegs her supplies to take care of her 14 clinics under her own law, she said.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project