Margaret Sanger, "San Antonio Open Forum Speech," 09 Nov 1931.

Source: " 600 Folk attend Sanger lecture, San Antonio Express, Nov. 10, 1931."

Sanger's talk to the San Antonio Open Forum was not found. Over 600 were in attendance.


San Antonio either has matured and unchangeable ideas about birth control, or else they are not interested, judging from the small crowd that turned out Monday night to hear the world’s foremost exponent of the practice, Margaret Sanger, speak at the Municipal Auditorium.

Sylvan Lang, president of the Open Forum, presided at the meeting opening with the invitation for everyone to come on down and take one of the orchestra seats advertised at $1 each. At that time there some 200 of these seats occupied. When the galleries and the back rows had accepted his invitation, the crowd number about 600 persons. The gross proceeds of the house were said to be about $400.

Mother of Two Sons

The middle-aged, silver haired exponent of “conscious control of the birth rate,” is herself the mother of two sons. She became a convert to the cult of which she is now credited with being the founder, while a nurse in the slums of New York City.

She said the Church of England had some time ago gone on record favoring in principle the things she encouraged, and made the prediction that in a short time the churches of the United States would do likewise. When her lecture here was recently announced, her theme was denounced in a pastoral letter mailed out by the Most Rev. Arthur J. Drossaerts, Catholic Archbishop of San Antonio, and members of that faith were exhorted to remain away from the lecture and not be misled by her pleadings.

However, a large and influential group of churches in the United States are now aligned with her program, Mrs. Sanger said, and she expressed the belief that their united endorsement was reasonably sure.

“Conscious birth control,” she said, “is the keynote of a new social order; it is no more to be stopped that the tides of the ocean.”

The practices she advocates no more destroy human life as charged by her critics than does mere celibacy, she said. Her church critics, according to her, center their attacks on her on the grounds that to do as she advises means destroying a human life.

Denies Life Destroyed

“If my views prevail, there is no more human life destroyed than there is when a man or woman chooses to remain single and apart from the marriage relation,” she said.

Modern civilization, she said, is menaced by the “hordes of unfit,” and mentally deficient, and parents before bringing into the world children should well consider and ponder the responsibility which they owe as parents. It is a right and a privilege which they owe to their children, she said.

She closed with a plea for a liberalization of postal laws which will permit sending through the mail advice and instructions to women on how to achieve the results she advocates.

She appeared under the auspices of the San Antonio Open Forum which always disavows the opinions expressed by its speakers, according to a routine announcement of the president, Sylvan Lang, made preceding her talk.

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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project