Margaret Sanger, "Hotel Wisconsin Speech," 27 April 1916.
Source: " Scores U.S. Law Which Bars Talk on Birth Control, Milwaukee Leader, Apr. 27, 1916."
Mrs. Margaret Sanger, of New York, persecuted for spreading information in the cause of birth control, told her story to Milwaukee physicians, club women, suffragists and others Thursdsay night, in the gold room of the Hotel Wisconsin. Policemen and plain clothes men were on hand but Mrs. Sanger was not molested.
"Three hundred thousand babies die every year in the United States from poverty and neglect, while 600,000 parents remain in ignorance of how to prevent the coming of 300,000 more babies to die of poverty and neglect," said Mrs. Sanger.
"Women of wealth know how to regulate birth and have practiced it for 25 years. The government forbids the teaching of this knowledge to the working class, and when the patient is poor the doctor religiously abides by the law. Poor women want this knowledge just as badly as do their wealthier sisters."
"Am I to be persecuted, slandered and subjected to all sorts of indignities for helping these poor souls while Theodore Roosevelt can go up and down the land shouting and urging them to have larger families? He is not molested--no, he is lauded to the skies. While I, a woman, am arrested for preventing my sisters from producing an unlimited supply of cannon fodder for munition makers and professional jingoes."
"Every department in life is open to discussion and research excepting birth, and woe unto him who dares explore that forbidden valley! The scientist may go elsewhere at his will and bring back to the public the fruits of his research, but no matter how pure his motive, or how high his ideal, slander, imprisonment and persecution at the hands of our benevolent government await him who dares invade the forbidden valley. We are as ignorant of creation as were our primitive ancestors."
"The arguments of immorality which they use against us are identical with those used in the early struggles against higher education for women. That did not make women immoral--we are beginning to see that. We are going to have birth control some day, and it will make women no more immoral than has higher education."
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project