Margaret Sanger, "Dagens Nyheter Interview," 10 Jul 1934.
Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress Library of Congress Microfilm 20:169 Fewer Children the Best Front Against War, Dagens Nyheter ."
This translation of an Swedish article in the Dagens Nyheter was translated by Sanger's staff in 1934. The original article was not found..
“For five minutes my proposal concerning a change in U.S.A.’s sixty-year old Birth Control Law was actually elevated to law,” related Mrs. Margaret Sanger, known over the whole world as the foremost pioneer for Birth Control, and now on a visit to Stockholm. “But afterwards an elderly gentleman in the Senate woke up and protested, and so the work of many years for a change in this vital problem was stopped for the time being. But next year it will go through.”
Mrs. Sanger, who is traveling in Europe with the intention of starting an international movement for organized Birth Control, and has now arrived in Stockholm, is a lady with a gallant and tumultuous past. And that she did little on her own part to avoid the storms one can see immediately in her red Irish hair and clear blue American eyes. She has been called America’s most slandered woman, and that is quite correct. To begin a campaign for legalized birth control twenty-five years ago in America must have been a task with many risks. Between 1921, when she called together the first Birth Control Conference in America, and now, when her proposition became law, if only for five minutes, lie many defeats and many personal persecutions, but also many glorious victories. Her first step on the way to which her experience as a child in a large and poor family drove her was an article in her own paper, “The Woman Rebel,” which was followed immediately by a commitment. She eluded the action by escaping to England, and when, a year later she returned to the United States, such a strong European opinion stood back of her that the authorities found it advisable to forget the little incident of by-gone days. Nevertheless, since then she has served a month’s imprisonment.
“To me it was quite clear,” she declares, “that now since all the countries have closed their boundaries to other nations the only solution to the problem of peace is control of population. If you do not choose this method, there is only one other, a lowering of the standard of living. And the end is that women become the slaves of militarism, that the countries need colonies, the colonies new soldiers for their defense, and so on, in one vicious circle."
“In America, as I said, the law on this question is 60 years old and has never been changed. As a consequence of this we have the highest percentage of deaths in childbirth in the whole world. Thanks to the somewhat varying laws of the different states we have finally come so far that we have nearly 140 more or less officially tolerated clinics for birth control information, of which one is mine, and in my work I have had occasion to help 50,000 women. But much still needs to be done, and that is why I am making this trip. I shall go to Russia to study their organizations for women and how they solve the problem home--work. But before this I shall meet with some of my friends here in order to talk with them and form a group to continue work. From India an inquiry has also come asking I will come there and take part in a congress which represents 11 million women. And, as I said, the next time my proposed law concerning permission from doctors and other medical scientists to render positive enlightenment regarding Birth Control comes up, I believe it will be difficult to count the minutes of its duration.”
Wednesday, at one o’clock at Moseback there will be a meeting between Mrs. Sanger and Swedish doctors and others who are interested.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project