Alliene Wiggins, "Preparation of Parenthood for World Peace," 05 May 1949.

Source: " Margaret Sanger Takes Stand Against Socialized Medicine, San Angelo Evening Standard, May 6, 1949."

Sanger spoke before a state meeting of the Planned Parenthood League of Texas, held in San Angelo, at the Cactus Hotel on May 4 and 5. For remarks Sanger made at a dinner on May 4, see San Angelo Comments, May 4, 1949.

Margaret Sanger Takes Stand Against Socialized Medicine

by ALLIENE WIGGINS Standard-Times Staff

Margaret Sanger, whose name broke into the headlines in the early 1900s as an advocate of birth control, and who is now honorary chairman of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, opposed socialized medicine in an address at the state meeting of the Planned Parenthood League of Texas Thursday in San Angelo.

Mrs. Sanger advised those interested in the planned parenthood movement to avoid and prevent socialized medicine. The stand against socialized medicine was made incidentally as she spoke at luncheon on the work of the organization and of her foreign field work in Europe.

Mrs. F. M. Rice of Dallas, state president, conducted all business sessions of the two-day convention which closed here Thursday afternoon with the election of new officers. Mrs. Scott Snodgrass of San Angelo, currently first vice-president, is the new president-elect and Mrs. A. R. Fletcher of El Paso was elected secretary. Mrs. Hugh Halff of San Antonio will continue serving as second vice-president. Mrs. W. A. Schmid of Fort Worth is retiring secretary.

Mrs. Sanger began her address by saying 40 per cent of the people of the world today are not being fed properly. This problem combined with that of overpopulation, is of prime importance in the world today.

Citing Germany, Italy, and Japan as examples of nations forced to seek lands to provide resources for their over-supplied citizenry, Mrs. Sanger pointed out that today the population of Japan is increasing at more than a million a year--this in a country smaller than the state of California and with few resources. These people will have to be supported for the next 20 or 25 years, and unless the birth rate is curtailed the problem will be an endless one.

In countries such as Japan, a national educational program on birth control should be introduced. To show the eagerness of the people for a solution to this problem, Mrs. Sanger told how, in 1921, landing in a port in Japan, she was greeted by a group of Japanese women who had heard a radio broadcast of hers concerning birth control. These women told her they were not interested in most women’s rights movements but Mrs. Sanger’s reform was one keenly needed by their country women. However the military leaders in Japan, interested in building up armies, opposed the presentation of any methods limiting population.

Mrs. Sanger defined birth control as the “conscious control of the birth rate by means which prevent the conception of life.” Thus, life is not destroyed because life is never conceived. Conscious control is not a limitation because controls are placed on all phases of modern life. For example, traffic is controlled but it still comes and goes.

Mrs. Sanger believes that the control of the birth rate is what is lacking throughout the world today. The planned parenthood movement strives to direct this problem into channels where the medical profession can advise on the methods of controlling the birth rate.

Three of the prime aims of the planned parenthood movement were given by Mrs. Sanger. To prevent people who have transmissible diseases from having children is one of the greatest questions in the world. Institutions are full of people who should never have been conceived. Feeble-minded, defective people should in many cases be sterilized as a protection to society by preventing the continued birth of misfits who will become state wards. Standards as to health and mental ability are placed on immigrants coming into our country, but there are no stipulations as to the fitness of the individuals within this country who reproduce and help populate the land.

Another aim of birth control is to let mothers, who have a temporary disease such as tuberculosis, recover before another pregnancy occurs. One-fourth of the women who die from pregnancy during a disease knew they have the disease before becoming pregnant.

The spacing of children, which Mrs. Sanger believes has helped the movement more than anything else, was the third aim mentioned. Babies should be spaced according to the health of the mother, and the number of babies should depend upon the earning ability of the father. She quoted from a medical journal that stated that spacing resulted in stronger babies and healthier mothers. For the young couple entering marriage, birth control gives them an opportunity to adjust themselves to marriage before starting their family.

Mrs. Sanger urged members of the League not to forget that the primary cause of the movement was to get to the poorest strata of people, to help them in solving their problem of large families, poor health, and limited income. The goal of the movement is not to let the peculiar kind of birthrate now existing (few children among families who can support them; many children among poor families), continue; but to arouse public health agencies as to their responsibility to society with regard to the kind of people who have children.

There is “no other organization today so important to our children or our children’s future,” Mrs. Sanger believes. The movement will "build sounder marriages, better health, and a better world; laying the foundation for the greatest civilization the world has ever known.”

Mrs. Mellick Tweedy, of San Angelo, who worked with Mrs. Sanger in New York in 1917, introduced her. Mrs. Sanger recognized Mrs. George Ripley of Dallas, Mrs. Agnese Nelms of Houston, and Mrs. Charles Goetting of El Paso as three Texas women who have done unselfish and untiring work in pioneering the birth control movement.

The Thursday afternoon business session, which concluded the two-day meeting, included reports by the following state officers: President, Mrs. L. M. Rice of Dallas; first vice president, Mrs. Scott Snodgrass of San Angelo; second vice president, Mrs. Hugh Halff of San Antonio; and secretary, Mrs. W. A. Schmid of Fort Worth.

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