Margaret Sanger, "Brooklyn Assembly of Jewish Women Organizations Address," 30 Apr 1931.

Source: " Birth Control Clinic Is Urged for Brooklyn, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 1, 1931, p. 21."

Sanger's speech was not found; newspaper coverage was used instead.


Birth Control Is Urged For Brooklyn

A birth-control clinic for Brooklyn, similar to that in Manhattan, was urged yesterday by Mrs. Margaret Sanger, director of the New York clinic.

Mrs. Sanger spoke of the need of the Brooklyn women, many of whom are now being treated in Manhattan.

Her address followed a meeting of the Assembly of Jewish Women's Organizations at the Union Temple, 17 Eastern Parkway.

"We are planning to take the matter under consideration," said Mrs. Louis Petchesky , president of the organization.

"In our next meetings we are going to investigate the possibility of starting such a clinic with our assistance."

Cites Church Action

"We won the greatest victory so far," said Mrs. Sanger, remarking on the recent victories of the movement, "When the Presbyterian General Assembly and the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America both issued statements favoring birth control."

Mrs. Sanger debated the question with Mrs. Thomas A. McGoldrick, former president of the Catholic Alumnae Association, who took the negative side.

The right to spiritual health and progress of women and of the family was pointed out by Mrs. Sanger as she drew a picture of the early years of married life.

"We owe to those starting out in life leisure in which to become acquainted, to make as much as possible out of their marriage."

'To Blunder Along'

"Instead we do what we would never do with a traveler in any other unknown country. We send them out with no directions to blunder along as best they can."

Too often, Mrs. Sanger thought, marriage means only parenthood. The wife has no sooner left her girlhood behind than she finds herself a mother with all a mother's cares.

Stresses Practical Side

The practical side of birth control, she added, was purely a medical one, which should be treated as an individual problem by properly qualified persons.

There are many, Mrs. Sanger believed, who should not have more or any children. She said communicable disease and subnormal children as barriers.

While she considers early marriage desirable, she does not believe that a girl under 22 years or a boy under 25 should be parents.

Cites Intellectual Control

"The intellectual class, the artisan and skilled workmen all have a controlled birth rate. Of their fewer children the greater majority grow to maturity and fill the best places in society."

"It is from their pockets that the costs of maintaining the children who should never have been born must come. We are today piling up huge debts fro our children and our children's children to pay."

Mrs. McGoldrick, mother of seven children, attacked the problem as that of a citizen looking ahead.

More Buried than Born

"America," she said, "has become a decaying nation, burying more humans than it produces."

She warned of an imminently serious social problem facing us" because of the widespread acceptance of birth control and she said the so-called intellectual group is shunning children.

Declaring her attitude was not entirely due to the dogmas of her family, she asserted widespread birth control has a destructive influence and is tearing down something tangible that should not be disturbed."

Mrs. McGoldrick brought out the mingled joys and hardships of parenthood and touched on the more practical side of the question.

Cites France, Holland

She spoke of the compensation which overshadowed the physical and economic strain of a large family. No mother, she believed, would be willing to part with one of her family, no matter how numerous it might be.

"The problems of France and Holland," she said, "both of which have had birth control, show what happens when a country concurs in the movement."

"In France they are seriously worried over the drop in birth rate. In Holland they have rescinded the ten-year-old law because of the spread of disease and immortality and the grave drop in the birth rate."

She also stated that birth control would open wide the door of "lack of control" to the youth of the nation.

In answer to the point that many children were an unfair burden to the poor, she explained that many were "gift-edged investments" to them.


Subject Terms:

Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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