Margaret Sanger, "Conference on Contraceptive Research and Clinical Practice Statement," 29 Dec 1936.
Source: " Birth Control Aid Received By 56,000, New York Times, Dec. 30, 1936, p. 10 ."
Sanger addressed the Conference on Contraceptive Research and Clinical Practice at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City. For additional comments from this speech, see Address to the Conference on Contraceptive Research and Clinical Practice, Dec. 29, 1936 and The Future of Contraception, Dec. 29, 1936. Portions of the article that did not deal with Sanger's speech have been omitted.
Clinical birth control methods are approaching 100 per cent success; but cheaper, easier and equally harmless means must be found to help the millions to whom present methods are economically or geographically unavailable, Mrs. Margaret Sanger, director of the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, declared yesterday.
She spoke at the opening of a two-day conference on control research and clinical practice at the Hotel Roosevelt. More than 200 persons, many of them physicians, representing about fifty clinics in all parts of the country, heard papers describing several methods in the experimental stage which, if perfected, may revolutionize birth control practices.
“The outstanding achievement of this bureau,” Mrs. Sanger said, “has been to inform, teach, instruct and give contraceptive advice to more than 56,000 women who voluntarily appealed to us for this advice. The records of these women may truly be looked upon as a veritable human laboratory for research and correlations.
“We have been fortunate in enlisting the cooperation of competent physicians and have amassed a wealth of incontrovertible evidence supporting the feasibility and desirability of contraceptive practice. The evidence seems to be on our side, for in all the studies we have made we find, when our teachings are followed and adhered to, there is the record of 96.4 to 97 per cent success.
“The birth-control movement has arrived at a stage in its development where it definitely can help that part of the population accessible to hospitals, doctors or in the health services where properly qualified doctors are available, but we must go further and supply the demand of women in the submerged sections who are clamoring for cheap and effective means to control the size of the family.
“We must have methods that are cheaper, easier to apply and as harmless as those which we now use have proven to be. The scientist must come to our aid. We want his cooperation, his wisdom, his impersonal courage and vision.”
Mrs. Sanger praised a recent decision of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that “the Federal statutes were not designed to obstruct the circulation of articles which may be intelligently employed by conscientious physicians for the purpose of saving life and promoting well-being.”
“In our effort to clear away this legal rubbish,” Mrs. Sanger added, “we have uncovered many obstacles, but we cannot go much farther, either onward or upward, without the help of the scientific mind.”
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project