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Margaret Sanger, "WOMAN REBEL Trial Statement," 13 Jan 1916.

Source: " "Threat of Prison Won't Stop 'Woman Rebel' From Advocating Birth Control.", The Day Book, Jan. 13, 1916, p. 14."


Jan. 13, New York--

The woman rebel has just rebelled again! The apostle of birth control, the alleged author of scores of illegal pamphlets, Margaret H. Sanger, has announced that she is going to stand trial, undefended in a federal court here Tuesday, Jan. 18. She must face a charge of circulating improper literature, preferred against her a year ago by the late Anthony Comstock.

Is Uncle Sam going to jail Margaret Sanger for an offense of which, her friends declare, every single newspaper and magazine in the nation which has discussed her case is just as guilty as she?

That is the dilemma which confronts the authorities today. Everybody, it seems, would be happier if she would only compromise and let the whole thing blow over!

"Why is it,” Mrs. Sanger was asked, “that you have come back from England to undergo all the trouble now being stored up for you in the way of prosecution and imprisonment?”

“For the very reason,” answered Mrs. Sanger, “that the affair might blow over. The great issue is to raise the question of birth control out of the gutter of obscenity, where my opponents have put it, and to get it into the light of intelligence and human understanding."

“Few people know how rapidly, under the surface, the birth control movement is developing."

“My reports from the west say that thousands of birth control pamphlets are being distributed there among the working people. They are being photographed, typewritten, mimeographed, even copied painfully out by hand, so that the information they contain may be spread from family to family."

“I am going to stay in the fight, if I can, until the methods of birth control, recognized as legal, hygienic and moral in every other civilized nation, are made legal in this country also, and all the vile laws which class discussion of them as obscene are swept from the statute books."

“I hope that my case may have the same result in this country as did that of Annie Besant in England. She was arrested a generation ago and found guilty. But the publicity given her case was such an aid to the birth control propaganda that England at last recognized it.”

Mrs. Sanger is to be prosecuted under the postal laws, not on the charge of circulating the information as to methods of birth control, but simply for having written articles advocating it. These articles appeared in her magazine, The Woman Rebel.

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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project