"'Police Can't Stop Me,' Says Margaret Sanger"




New York Call, Oct.22, 1916, p. 8


For other New York Call articles on the clinic, see Oct. 20,1916. Also see New York Tribune,, Oct. 24, 1916 and Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Oct. 22 and Oct. 24, 1916.



"'Police Can;t Stop Me,' Says Margaret Sanger"

Birth Control Clinic Secret and Oral. She Declare--More to be Open Soon.

"The poor, century-behind-the-times public officials of this country might just as well forget their moss-grown statutes and accept birth control as an established fact. My new national plan makes it as inevitable as night and day."

Mrs. George Sanger, short and smiling, with a tinge of red in her hair and more than that in her eye, sat in her little two by four hotel bedroom and said that here today. Within the last forty-eight hours she has established semi-secretly in this city the first out-and-out birth control clinic in the United States--the law, a Federal indictment and numerous arrests all over the country to the contrary notwithstanding.

Law Can't Reach Her

“The police are hunting my clinic today,” she went on. “They can’t find it. If they should, they can’t hurt it. It is an oral clinic, and the law says nothing about not spreading birth control information orally. If they do try to interfere, I am legally prepared to carry a hard and bitter fight to the highest tribunal in the land, with the best legal talent there is."

"Four more secret clinics will be running in New York within a week. In less than a year there will be clinics in Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Denver, St. Louis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Spokane and Butte. They are every one organized and ready to open the minute I say the word. The Washington clinic will open within a few days."

Women are Eager.

"Do the women like it? Say, you ought to go down in the neighborhood we have canvassed with secret circulars the last forty-eight hours. The women have been coming in by the dozens. You can hear them calling from house to house in the congested district, 'Oh, Mrs. Rosenbaum, you ought to see this; this is something fine!'"

"Within two years every man and woman in this country will know how many children they can afford to have. And, when they know that, I predict that two generations of birth control will wipe out all the slums, eliminate the birth of mental defectives, minimize the number of humans in our insane asylums and automatically put a stop to child labor and prostitution."

"I say it will wipe out child labor because statistics show that 97 per cent of our child labor is recruited from families that are too large to be cared for by the parents."

"I say it will wipe out the worst of prostitution because statistics prove that 95 per cent of the girls taken from lives of prostitutes and placed in industrial homes come from poor parents, with nine or more children."

Lack of Attention.

"Poverty doesn’t force these girls into prostitution, but the lack of attention they get, with so many children at home, and the general sordid tone of their lives naturally leads them to such a life."

"My friends and myself are going to bring the people of this country to realize that a man making only $15 a week cannot afford to marry, much less have children. And they’ll learn that the average workingman’s family should not exceed two children, even under the most favorable physical conditions.

"This is the work the law and public officials are trying to stop. The poor, blind officials really are not to blame, they simply live in their law books; They don’t live along in everyday life; and, as the law is a century behind the times, so are the officials."