Margaret Sanger, "Birth Control and Law in the United States," 10 July 1934.

Source: " Svenska Dagbladet ."

Sanger gave a press conference in Stockholmon July 10, 1934. The comments were published in Svenska Dagbladet , a conservative newspaper. Text comes from a translation made by Margaret Sanger's staff.


The Irish Woman Who Helped the American Woman

Birth Control Lawful in the U.S.A.--For Five Minutes

Mrs. Margaret Sanger from America, one of Birth Control’s most zealous champions, the pioneer for improving the condition of American mothers and wives, is at present visiting in Stockholm before she continues a few days hence her study trip to Russia. About a decade ago Mrs. Sanger opened the first Birth Control Clinic in America. This was then possible by the revised law in this respect in New YorkState. One desired objective for the entire United States for which Mrs. Sanger is working is the passage of the so-called Birth Control Bill.

This proposed law, which permits the dissemination of knowledge concerning birth control and methods of prevention through doctors, pharmacists and controlled clinics, lately came before the Senate. It went through--but only for five minutes. After this period one of the voters woke up--parenthesis, a representative of the Catholic Church--and protested. Thus, Birth Control fell through that time. But Mrs. Sanger does not despair.

“Next year the law will pass,” said Mrs. Sanger optimistically, when late Monday evening after an excursion to Skansen she placed herself at our disposal for an interview. “We have worked for twenty years with faith and loyalty and some time our effort must bear fruit.”

“The present law was introduced sixty years ago and nothing in it has been changed since that time. We are no striving to change it for the sake of the poor and burdened mother. If we have effective birth control,” Mrs. Sanger continued optimistically, “abortion will be unnecessary. What we wish to give mothers is a breathing space, so to speak, to give them at least a couple of years between each child. That can scarcely be too much to ask.” In this connection Mrs. Sanger asserted that the highest mortality figures among mothers occurs in the U.S.

“A couple of weeks ago,” Mrs. Sanger stated further, “a law was introduced in Englandaccording to which doctors and clinics not only have the right but are obliged to enlighten women who consult them concerning the existence of methods of protection and their use.”

Mrs. Sanger also developed her viewpoint on the subject of birth control in connection with the world’s peace problem.

“We all know how the countries have closed their doors to each other, how emigration and immigration have diminished or been made impossible. If a people with a great increase of population are denied the possibility of immigrating, the standard of living goes down and the country must embark upon an effective control of birth. Birth Control is, I believe, a fundamental measure against the over-population and war between countries, and the women especially should all support this measure warmly and heartily.”

The aim of Mrs. Sanger’s visit to Russia via our land is to study general health conditions and problems connected therewith, such as the capacity of women in different countries to combine home and work, etc. The East Indian women meet in a congress this year and naturally Mrs. Sanger has been asked to attend.

Mrs. Sanger is a simple and sweet woman with a friendly smile about her wise mouth. One senses nothing about her of the suffrage woman and dictator, and yet as such a one must she still be regarded. Mrs. Sanger was born of Irish parents but came to American rather early where as a nurse in New York Cityshe obtained an insight into the distressing lives of the working women. It was sympathy with her suffering sisters and the wish to lessen their burden which later dictated her actions. She contrived by and by, after a various number of reverses, among other a sojourn in prison, to bring about a Birth Control Congressin America, and a few years later she was present as a source of inspiration at the World Population Conference in Geneva. Assiduous studies of European conditions had, on her part, preceded this conference. At the present time Mrs. Sanger is the director of a Birth Control Clinic in New York. It was the first of its kind but since then, hundreds have been established in imitation of it.

The Women's Club in Stockholm has planned a luncheon at Moseback on Wednesday for the American visitor.


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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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