Connecticut Birth Control League Speech




"Mrs. Sanger Lectures on Birth Control," Hartford Courant, Dec. 11, 1932


This speech was similar to Sanger's Dec. 9, 1932 speech to the Wesleyan University undergraduate conference on marriage. No final version has been found. (See "Wesleyan University Speech Notes and Excerpts" {MSP #236563}; also see MSP #434001).


Hartford Courant



Mrs. Sanger Lectures on Birth Control

Speaking at St. John's Parish House, She Hits Conn. Laws on Dissemintion of Information

Maintaining that this country should be at least as careful of the type of citizens born here as it is of the type of citizens admitted, Mrs. Margaret Sanger of New York presented the case for birth control at a lecture held under the auspices of the Hartford Branch of the Connecticut Birth Control League in the parish house of St. John’s Church, Saturday afternoon.

The lecture was attended by nearly 500 persons, many of whom signed cards pledging support of action to liberalize the state and Federal laws on dissemination of birth control information.

Connecticut Laws Scored.

Mrs. Sanger repeated her assertion that Connecticut laws on the dissemination of birth control information are "unique," pointing out that there are only two other states in the county where even physicians are forbidden to give even oral information to patients on the subject. The state law which prohibits the use of contraceptives is unenforceable, she declared, unless the State proposes to station a policeman in every home.

In opening her lecture Mrs. Sanger pointed out that the old methods of keeping the population relatively stable such as pestilence, famine, floods, etc., have been largely overcome by science. It is obvious, she said, that there are only two methods to control the population, increase deaths or decrease births and the former is much too cruel. In times past persons have resorted to infanticide as a method of controlling the number of children, but this is to be deplored, as is abortion, which followed infanticide as a method of controlling the size of the family, she said.

Says Question Affects All.

Once contraception is generally known there will be no necessity for either of the previous two methods of control, she said. She pointed out that the so-called “social problem” group is in a large part composed of families where contraception is unknown, while in the other group both parents and children benefit through improved conditions. The question of birth control, she said, then affects every man and woman, and indirectly every child. “The immigration laws bar certain aliens who are feeble-minded, or who have certain diseases, from admission to this country,” she said. “Certainly if it is desirable to control the rate at which such persons are permitted to multiply once they are here.”

Birth control is desirable to prevent the transmission of disease, to insure the proper spacing between children so that both mother and child shall have the benefit of better physical condition, to prevent child bearing in adolescence, to permit families to have no more children than they can afford, and to permit a period of mutual adjustment after marriage, she said.