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2014-06-25 CH proofed 2015-02-05 Proof tags and enter. 2015-03-03 CH recheck tags 2015-07-16 EK update indexes 2015-08-13 CH regularizing doc titles Margaret Sanger 10 Jan 1916 [WOMAN REBEL Case Interview] msp421998 Fights to Teach Birth Control, Chicago Daily Tribune, Jan. 17, 1916, p. 3 Chicago Daily Tribune Stokes, Rose Pastor Carpenter, Alice Sanger gave an interview at her home, 26 Post Avenue, on her upcoming obscenity trial. For the speech she gave the next day, see Hotel Brevoort Speech, Jan. 17, 1916.
  • birth control laws and legislation, Comstock Laws
  • censorship
  • free speech and free press
  • marriage, age at
  • Woman Rebel The, legal case
  • Woman Rebel, The, suppression of
  • Woman Rebel, The, birth control and
  • family size, and poverty
  • Sanger, Margaret, biographical details
  • working classes, and birth control
  • FIGHTS TO TEACH BIRTH CONTROL

    New York,, Jan. 10-- The trial of Mrs. Margaret H. Sanger will begin Tuesday in the federal building before Federal Judge Clayton, where she will be called upon to answer the charges of disseminating literature advocating birth control. Mrs. Sanger has refused to have any counsel, despite the advice of her friends, and is going to plead her own case. At a dinner Monday at the Hotel Brevoort, at which will be present a number of her friends, Mrs. Sanger expects to explain what her case will be in the trial. At her home at 26 Post avenue Mrs. Sanger gave a history of the case and told what she intends to do.

    Poor Families Largest.

    "I found out," she said, "in my nursing experience so many facts about the overcrowding of children and the condition of the mother and the children that I thought something should be done. Only poor women were having large families, and the rich women who could give their children more comfort were not having children. "I studied abroad and came back with my mind made up to give to the United States the benefit of my experience. I found that nowhere in this country were there any facts relative to the social problems as applied to large families or population.

    Her Publication Suppressed.

    "I was astonished at this and it was then that I began to publish the Woman Rebel to call attention to the conditions, and addressed to the working women of America. The publication seemed innocuous to me, but the postal authorities suppressed the first edition and seven editions out of nine were suppressed and confiscated because they discussed the most innocent side of the subject. "My question was whether working women can afford to keep large families and whether they are willing to hear discussion on the subject. I was not allowed to give the message to the working women. I insisted then and now that a discussion of this was right and fitting and the subject should be brought up.

    Would Change the Law.

    "If, as charged, my discussion of the subject comes under section 211 of the obscenity law, then that section should be done away with. "I believe sincerely that the double standard of morals for men and women is due primarily to ignorance of birth control. Men are afraid of having large families; therefore, they do not feel that they can marry young and have children. The result is that they do not marry and the result is much of the immorality of today. "I expect to conduct my own defense in my trial. I do not intend to make a high flown and oratorical defense, and I do not see why I should go to the big expense of having a lawyer. It will be a simple speech, for to me it is a simple subject, so I will try to take the place of an attorney. I think--I feel sure--that I will be acquitted, and it will be the greatest victory to the freedom of the press since the days of our forefathers."

    Many Don't Know How.

    Mrs. Rose Pastor Stokes, a member of the dinner committee, said to a reporter: "The question has interested me very much. Every one knows that well to do people are breaking the law regarding birth control all the time, and the legislatures themselves join in that. They cannot understand that everybody does not know how to control and restrict birth. An overwhelming majority of people cannot get the knowledge. "We see the result in ever increasing numbers of children, most of whom die. By the time the ones who die have been buried, with the consequent expense, nothing is left for the others to live on, and they are starved and miserable. I think that birth control would regulate and end this."

    "A Grave Social Problem."

    Miss Alice Carpenter, who is also a member of the dinner committee, said: "I am on the side of Mrs. Sanger because I believe the problem of birth control to be one of the grave social problems of our day. In my own personal experience I have found many poor families who are struggling to give their children a better education than they themselves have had and are handicapped by the fact that there are too many mouths to feed."

    Subject Terms:

    Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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