Margaret Sanger, "Importance of Birth Control in Public Health Plans," 18 Oct 1938.

Source: " "Advocates of Birth Control Await Mrs. Sanger's Talk", Memphis Commercial Appeal, Oct. 19, 1938."

Sanger's speeches in Knoxville and Nashville were not found; newspaper coverage was used in its place.


Advocates of Birth Control Await Mrs. Sanger’s Talk

Mrs. Margaret Sanger, leading crusader for birth control for 25 years, is expected to outline the public health programs of birth control in North Carolina when she visits Memphis tomorrow.

Mrs. Sanger will speak at 8 o'clock tomorrow night at the Fairgrounds Casino. The lecture will be free to the public. It is sponsored by the Birth Control Committee of Memphis.

On her present trip Mrs. Sanger spoke several times in North Carolina where the State Board of Health has completed the first year of its program to disseminate birth control knowledge through public clinics. The lecturer's friend and associate Mrs. Stephen Whitney Blodgett of Fishkill, N.Y. in Memphis now to assist in arrangements for the talks here said Mrs. Sanger would describe fully the North Carolina plans.

Mrs. Sanger spoke yesterday in Knoxville on “The Importance of Birth Control in Public Health Plans.”

“Birth control is safe, wise, economical, and wanted by poor mothers,” she declared. Catholic leaders of Memphis have attacked her theories and are forming opposition to proposals of state legislation to liberalize Birth Control Laws. They have branded birth control as an "immoral, physically injurious practice. . . contrary to the Bible .

At Nashville last night, Mrs. Sanger declared the South was the “most promising section of the country for birth control.”

“Now that people are getting over their squeamish attitude toward the subject that has been so long misunderstood,” Mrs. Sanger said, “the South offers the greatest field for development of birth control.”

“The large native born population in the South--97 per cent according to statistic reports--and the fact that with the exception of about three large centers the people are mostly Protestant make the South the most promising section of the country” for this movement.

As in her visits to Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville, Mrs. Sanger will meet privately with physicians here to discuss birth control methods, Mrs. Blodgett said. She will speak at 8:30 o'clock Friday night to a negro audience at the Metropolitan Baptist Church, 761 Walker.

The lectures will deal principally with theory, social and economic aspects, and moral argument for birth control, while specific methods will probably be discussed at the doctors' meeting, Mrs. Blodgett said. She is in Memphis aiding in the arrangements being made by her sister, Mrs. J. P. Long, head of the local committee.

It was Mrs. Sanger's work as a nurse in hospitals, private homes and the slums of New York that led her to spread the doctrine that "mothers must have children only when health and pocketbook permit." She fought through bitter years of hostility from governments, publications and churches, and in the face of social ostracism and even imprisonment until she won recognition for her ideas as worthy of study by legislative bodies.

The slight, quietly-dressed, soft-spoken woman carries on a vast correspondence with women all over the world.


Subject Terms:

Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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