Margaret Sanger, "Over-Population," 10 Jan 1922.
Source: " "Mrs. Sanger on Birth Control", Reading (PA) Times, Jan. 11, 1922, p. 2."
Mrs. Margaret Sanger made two addresses in Reading yesterday on "birth control." The first was of a semi-private nature. The second was open to all.
A goodly company of women gathered in the afternoon at the residence of Mrs. A. D. Nelson, 1025 Fairview avenue, Wyomissing, to hear Mrs. Margaret Sanger.
"This is what we call an organization meeting," she said in opening. "It seems to me from the interest that has been shown here in Reading at the three previous meetings that there is a great deal of interest in the subject of birth control."
"We come here, and we have large overflowing meetings, and then we go away and there is nothing left and nothing done. It is not just right to arouse interest in a great cause like this without following it up with some further steps, practical knowledge and setting minds straight toward the right goal of idealism."
"The whole subject of this movement is to direct the forces of motherhood in the right direction. We not only want to control birth and to decrease the quantity among the unfit and the diseased and the poor, but we also want to improve the quality of the human race. Let us never forget that we have a two-fold object in this work."
"It is going to be the object of the American Birth Control League to formulate and establish birth control clinics throughout this country. We want to go into the south where in those states the white people are more numerous and in many ways more badly treated than the colored people."
"We want to go into these states in which child labor still exists, and we want to make child labor an unnecessary thing in these states within a very few years. We are going to do that, not by passing laws against child labor, but by removing the causes of child labor, which are prolific. We are going to give those mothers instruction in means of preventing conception, so that the mother will not have more children than she can take care of. We want to go into the industrial sections of every state in this nation and organize the interest that is already there.'
"Now we do not want to do it from outside. We want the aid of those members of the community who are in sympathy with us, who believe in birth control, and who believe that the application of this information when directed properly will be a good thing for that community."
Mrs. Sanger claims her plan will reduce the infant mortality rate, as the mother will have only the number of children she can take care of, first in accordance with the mother's health, second in accordance with the father's income. She also says it will encourage young people to marry earlier, to work together, to consider the responsibilities of parenthood before they bring a child into the world. It will automatically reduce prostitution and venereal diseases, as it has done in Holland and New Zealand and in countries where there has been organized effort to give instruction in birth control.
Prominent local people showed their interest in the subject of birth control by forming a branch of the American Birth Control League at the home of Mrs. Nelson, Wyomissing. A temporary organization was formed which will be followed by a month of educational work after which a permanent organization will be formed with the purpose of establishing clinics in Reading to instruct parents in this subject.
Rev. L. Griswold Williams, pastor of the Universalist Church of Our Father, was elected president of the temporary organization. The other officers are: Vice president, Mrs. Ella Welfy; recording secretary, Mrs. Raymond Stuber; executive secretary, Mrs. A. D. Nelson; treasurer, A. D. Nelson.
The organization will conduct its work along educational lines for community betterment until Monday, Feb. 6, when a public meeting will be held at which time the permanent organization will be formed. Mayor Stauffer, who has shown interest in work along the lines of medical help, was present at the meeting yesterday.
Rev. Mr. Williams opened the public meeting in Odd Fellows hall last night at which Mrs. Sanger was the speaker. Mr. Williams stated that as representative of a liberal Christian church he could heartily approve of the movement as a deeply religious and essentially moral movement.
Mrs. Sanger, who was in Reading before and drew large audiences, was well received by the audience which completely filled the auditorium and balconies. She explained the purposes of the league and the necessity for birth control. Then she told of the arguments used by those opposed to the movement and refuted them.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project