Margaret Sanger, "Archbishop John Gregory Murray Statement," 20 Aug 1935.

Source: " Mrs. Sanger Corrects Birth Control Critic, New York Herald Tribune, Aug. 20, 1935 ."

For related statements, see Archbishop John Gregory Murray Statements, Aug. 19, 1935 and Oct. 1935.

Mrs. Sanger Corrects Birth Control Critic

Mrs. Margaret Sanger, birth control leader, drew a sharp distinction between abortion and contraception in replying today to the edict of Archbishop John Gregory Murray of St. Paul directing Roman Catholics under his jurisdiction to hold aloof from all organizations advocating birth control. The archbishop likened birth control advocates to the “Dillingermob,” saying that both were organized for murder.

“Personal opinions matter little,” Mrs. Sanger said in her statement today, “however much one may regret the ignorance and misinformation behind them. But when such opinions appear in the public press and create confusion and misunderstanding, it becomes a public duty to challenge them.

“The crux of the matter is that abortion is one thing and birth control is something totally different. Abortion destroys life. It kills the unborn child. It is a terrible and tragic thwarting of nature and one which takes its toll in ill health, in sterility and in women’s lives. Birth control, as the medical term contraception implies, prevents contraception. You cannot destroy what does not exist. You cannot use birth control and abortion as interchangeable terms. To do so is to misrepresent the facts.”

Birth control is one of the chief ways in which abortions and the maternal deaths resulting from them can be checked, she insisted.

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