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Margaret Sanger, "Interview with the United Press," 17 Feb 1937.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of CongressLibrary of Congress Microfilm 83:457."

Sanger gave this interview to E. J. Heilman in Chandler, Arizona on Feb. 17. For a similar interview see Interview with the Arizona Republic, Feb. 19, 1937.


Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 19--

(UP)--Mrs. Margaret Sanger, famous crusader for birth control, told the United Press today the organization she heads would discontinue its attempt to change Federal laws banning dissemination of birth control information or appliances.

“We shall close our Washington lobby, which has been maintained for several years, about March 1,” she said. “We believe it no longer is necessary to attempt to change the law in view of the recent Circuit Court of Appeals decision which held birth control appliances and information may be sent through the mails or in interstate commerce.”

At the same time, Mrs. Sanger predicted, the number of birth control clinics in the United States would be doubled by the end of 1937 as result of the court ruling.

“There are now 320 clinics in this country,” she said. “I believe there will be double that number by the end of this year because it is no longer necessary to ‘bootleg’ information or appliances.”

The decision to which Mrs. Sanger referred was one which held that the Comstock Law of 1873, relating to dispatch of “obscene” materials or writings through the mails or in interstate commerce, did not apply to birth control information or appliances. The Court held such information or appliances could be interpreted as health measures.

The test case involved shipment of a quantity of birth control devices from Japan to a New York woman physician.

Mrs. Sanger said a newly-discovered, inexpensive contraceptive she announced last year still was under laboratory tests in New York.

The contraceptive, based on rice or corn starch, was designed, she said, “for the masses who cannot afford the commercial contraceptives now available to those in better circumstances, and, as a result, are overburdened with children they cannot care for properly.” The material, she said, now is being used in India and China, but will not be released in this country for at least a year.

Mrs. Sanger is spending the winter in an exclusive resort in Chandler, Ariz. She said she would go to El Paso, Tex., in about a week to open a new birth control clinic.

She appeared before a House legislative committee late yesterday to speak in favor of a bill proposing to repeal Arizona law which forbids advertisements or contraceptives.


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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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