Margaret Sanger, "Birth Control and Contraception," 14 Jan 1936.
Source: " Address at Calicut, The Hindu, Jan. 18, 1936 Mrs. M. Sanger on Birth Control, Unidentified Newspaper, Jan. 15, 1936."
Sanger spoke at a public meeting in Paran Square, Calicut, India on Jan. 14, 1936. The speech was not found, but was described in two newspapers.
The need for adopting birth-control methods in the interests of humanity at large was stressed by Mrs. Margaret Sanger, addressing a well-attended public meeting held at the Paran Square, last evening, under the presidentship of Dr. Mugaseth.
The President extended a hearty welcome to Mrs. Sanger on behalf of the citizens of Calicut and said that Mrs. Sanger was doing propaganda for the last so many years on the need for adopting birth-control methods. They were glad to have her among them that day and hear her views on the subject.
Mrs. Sanger, in the course of her speech, said that the main reason for the controversy about the subject was due to the fact that most of those who were opposed to it had misunderstood it. After working for a number of years among the people in a slum district of New York, she came to the conclusion that in the interests of their womanhood and country, It was necessary to adopt birth-control methods. She firmly believed that if people knew the sufferings of the women at the time of child birth, they would do everything possible to help them to gain the knowledge of birth-control and make them healthy women. Though the work was in progress for the last 21 years, no law had been changed and there was the same opposition, intolerance, or bigotry, in all countries, denying the women the chance of gaining knowledge which would free them from sickness, poverty, etc. Birth-control meant conscious control of the birth-rate by preventing conception. After explaining the harm that was being done to the country and families by frequent births, she dealt at length on the methods fo rechecking frequent pregnancy.
Mrs. Margaret Sanger, of the International Information Centre on Birth Control, addressed a large gathering, yesterday evening, on birth control, at the Paran Square. Dr. Kh. D. Mugaseth presided.
Dr. Mugaseth, introduced the speaker.
Mrs. Sanger referred to the condemnation of the birth control propaganda and said that Robert Louis Stevenson had said “Condemnation is misunderstanding.” It was not fit to condemn a thing before its various aspects had been studied.
Proceeding Mrs. Sanger said that what birth control meant was the control of birth rate and the number of births could be lowered either by prevention of birth, or control over birth rate by conscious individual control. In the process of preventing birth they were not in any way taking away life. In preventing birth there was no interference with life and for that they had to be single or unmarried in life.
In controlling birth they had to use their intelligence to suit their needs. To be conscious of their acts and responsibilities necessarily involved that they should be free from the animal kingdom, which was impossible in the majority of cases.
She emphasized the need for bringing the population under control. She could not imagine what the population of India would be after hundred years if allowed to go on unchecked. Italy had a large population within the last few decades and 25 per cent of their surplus population within the last few decades and 25 per cent of her surplus population had to emigrate to America.
She knew that in India the marriage-able age had been raised but that was not enough. Men and women should be allowed to marry only after they had reached adolescence, that is, at the age of 23.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project