Margaret Sanger Frederick C. Othman, "New Birth Control Formula," 30 Apr 1929.

Source: " Mrs. Sanger Tells About New Birth Control Drive, The San Bernardino County Sun, May 15 1936, p. 3."

Mrs. Sanger Tells About New Birth Control Drive

by Frederick C. Othman


Mrs. Margaret Sanger gave us a cookie today, a dish of raspberry ice and all the latest news concerning birth control.

The idea now is to tell here as much as possible about developments in birth control circles and yet not enough to get either Mrs. Sanger or ourself jailed. The law is tricky (Mrs. Sanger says it's foolish), the developments are of world-wide importance- and prison doors are yawning. Woe is us!

The newest thing in birth control (Mrs. Sanger said) is a chemical formula, with rice flour as its basic ingredient. After fighting for 20 years in a vain effort to liberalize American birth control laws, Mrs. Sanger recently took her formula to Japan, China, and India.


"I was welcomed in those countries," she said, recalling the almost innumerable times she has been arrested in the United States. "The governments in the East were interested and the physicians were enthusiastic."

The new contraceptive was developed by Mrs. Sanger's technicians in Florida, where there are no state laws banning birth control information. It underwent extended tests there, she said and worked perfectly. She has not broadcast the formula in this country yet, but intends to soon, maybe even in Connecticut, where the use of contraceptives is illegal, and in Mississippi, where it is against the law for a physician to give a patient information about birth control under any circumstances.

"The fine thing about this new formula," Mrs. Sanger continued, "is that it will not cost more than 35 cents for a whole year's supply. The big trouble with present day birth control devices is their expense. They are to costly for poor people to afford. They have babies instead."

Mrs. Sanger said meantime that the laws, both Federal and state, were being evaded throughout the country.

"contraceptive devices now are sold not only in drug store," she said, "but in filling stations and news stands. It is a sorry situation."

The fact that the American Medical association at its convention in Kansas City turned thumbs down on widespread dissemination of birth control information makes it even sorrier, she added.


"I am appalled at this action of the medical association," she said. "The association is very short sighted and I think it does not represent the medical profession at large upon this question. Otherwise why is it that the birth rate within the profession is notably low?"

Finally, Mrs. Sanger advised strongly against placing too much dependence on so called "rhythmic methods" of birth control. They frequently are disappointing, she said.

She told us some other things too, but Mrs. Sanger wants to stay out of prison as much as we do. So that's all we can tell about developments in the birth control world until-and if-the laws are amended.

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Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project