Maternal Mortality



Spatial Coverage


New York Woman Hopes to Curb Mortality Among Mothers, Portsmouth (NH) Herald, Sept. 14, 1928, p. 9


Portsmouth Herald



New York Woman Hopes to Curb Mortality Among Mothers

An intensive study of methods of reducing the mortality among mothers as a result of childbirth will be undertaken by Mrs. Margaret Sanger, founder and president of the American Birth Control League and one of the foremost advocates of scientifically applied birth control in the world. Maternal mortality is greater in this country, Mrs. Sanger said, than any other country in the civilized world, except Chile.

“Statistics on the subject of maternal mortality are of doubtful values,” Mrs. Sanger declared in a statement given out last night, “but the record shows that in 1925, 647 mothers died of every 100,000 live births.”

She charged that work to lower the death rate of mothers in childbirth had been ineffective in the last ten years and advocated proper birth control as the solution of the problem.

“In 1926,” said Mrs. Sanger, “656 mothers in every 100,000 gave their lives. Since there has been no decline in these figures, which include only about 76 percent of the total population of the United States."

“I have been interested in this problem since 1914, and it was my interest in this particular aspect of the situation that led to the beginnings of a birth-control movement. I feel now that the time has come when I can turn over to others the organization, legislative and educational features of active birth-control work."

“As I have long wished to do, I will devote myself to a scientific study of the causes and cures of this terrific sacrifice of the lives of child-bearing women. I feel confident that a serious study will lead to a scientific demonstration of the fact that maternal mortality can be reduced by the application of birth-control knowledge.

“Infant mortality in the United States has been appreciably lowered in the last ten years, but nothing of consequence has been accomplished in lowering the death-rate of mothers."

“I am preparing to spend a period of from three to five years in the collection of material, in sociological investigation and in gathering facts generally pertinent to the situation. In this work I will have the aid and cooperation of some of the foremost authorities in the world.”

Mrs. Sanger tendered her resignation as president of the League, which she founded, in order to devote herself wholly to this phase of the work.