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Margaret Sanger, "Hotel Boise Speech," 17 May 1933.

Source: " Birth Control Speaker Urges Sensible Laws, Idaho Statesman, May 18, 1933."

For an interview Sanger gave before this speech, see Interview with the Idaho Statesman, May 17, 1935. Her speech at the Owyhee Hotel on May 18 was not found.


Speaking in the crystal ball room of Hotel Boise, Friday evening, Margaret Sanger, advocate of birth control, told why she had spent the last 20 years of her life trying to amend a law which was passed more than 60 years ago.

She declared that were it possible for birth control information to be given legally, the country would benefit and future citizens would be of a higher type of human beings. The bill now pending on congress is in the judiciary committee, of which Senator Borah is a member.

“Birth control laws were passed by congress 63 years ago,” she said. “A federal law now exists which makes it impossible for scientific or medical literature or supplies to be sent through the mails or common carriers.”

Doctors Not Exempted

“This law makes no exemption to the medical profession, nor to hospitals nor to medical colleges. It makes it a crime of five years in prison or $5,000 fine for anyone to send or receive through the U.S. mails any information on birth control. It also makes it a crime to send the address of a doctor or of a hospital or clinic through mails where such information might be obtained.

“The state laws are different. Nearly all of the state laws exclude and exempt the medical profession so that it is perfectly legal for a doctor in the state of Idaho to give oral information to his patients.

Trying to Save Lives

“We are trying to change this federal law. We are trying to amend this congressional law to exempt hospitals, doctors and medical colleges from the penalty of the law. Our bill is now in the judiciary committee of the senate, of which Senator Borah is a member. By the amending of this law through our bill, we can save thousands of woman and save the state tax payers from filling up institutions with a generation of children who are bound to become a burden upon society,” she said.

Out of about 250 present, 125 signed cards saying they were interested in Mrs. Sanger’s work, and 60 who expressed a desire for a clinic in Boise. This matter will be discussed with Mrs. Sanger today.

There were 95 at the luncheon at the Owyhee hotel Friday noon to meet Mrs. Sanger.

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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project