Margaret Sanger, "Statement on Arriving in Portland Oregon," 16 Jun 1916.
Source: " Mrs. Sanger Here, Portland Oregonian, June 17, 1916."
The press recorded some of Sanger's statements made during an interview at the Hotel Portland.
A bright, womanly little woman stepped from the train late yesterday. You wouldn't have picked her out as one who was radical or in any way unusual--if courage of one's conviction may be regarded as unusual.
It was Margaret Sanger, exponent of birth control, the woman who was arrested in New York City for publishing and sending through the mails her magazine, the Woman Rebel, a publication exploiting birth control.
Several members of the local league met Mrs. Sanger and escorted her to the Hotel Portland, where, after finding a cool spot and being initiated to loganberry juice in an iced drink, she gave an interview.
Her broadest views, her strongest message she will give on Monday night when she has promised to speak in the Helig Theater.
This lecture tour is her first attempt at big public work. Heretofore she gave informal talks to groups of girls in New York City, instructing them in hygiene and sanitation. She is a trained nurse, a mother of three children, aged respectively 12, 8 and 6 and she is a social worker of wide experience. The children are now with grandma Sanger. She says she has seen the misery of poverty and sickness in her visits as a nurse and she made up her mind to "get at the cause of the trouble."
"I have been called in turn a vile female, a person with a barnyard philosophy, a God-send, the greatest woman of the century, the counterpart of Abraham Lincoln, and a horrible creature," said Mrs. Sanger. "Rather conflicting epithets, but I go on doing what I believe to be right, carrying a message of help, as I believe it to be."
"I am of the opinion that a greater knowledge of birth control will raise the standard of morality instead of lowering it, and I am making an appeal to the Western women voters to help in my campaign to repeal the puritanical laws as they exist. They are a relic of the dark ages."
Mrs. Sanger thinks that young couples who are in love should marry early--provided they really are in love. Girls should be told the things that are vitally important, says Mrs. Sanger.
She declares that modern society's attitude toward the unmarried woman is a disgrace to civilization. With knowledge given in a wholesome, sensible way there would be less immorality, is Mrs. Sanger's opinion.
"There is altogether too much censorship,” said the women rebel.
The system of censorship she deems “appalling and a menace to liberty.”
“We have censored and suppressed and repressed and all the time we should be getting at the foundation--character-building. We wouldn’t be so silly, puritanical and narrow if we had a little more common sense.” Mrs. Sanger averred.
“I don’t want to hitch birth control with any of the isms. I want it to be on a sane basis." This is the one thing she most hopes for, she says. She wants to help women to develop her intellectuality, to have some time for the children she has already and to do away with the "old fogey" idea that any discussion of out of the ordinary topics is "obscene."
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project