Birth Control and Population Problem




"Solve Europe's Population Problem, Or War Will Result, Sanger States," Daily Collegian, Nov. 18, 1932, p.1. See also "Margaret Sanger Addresses Forum," Daily Collegian, Nov. 18, 1932, p.1.


Sanger spoke at the Schwab Auditorium at Penn State College on November 15, 1932, the first in a series of talks sponsored by the Penn State Christian Association. The speech was not found, but quotes were taken from reports in the Daily Collegian. The speech was not found, but quotes were taken from reports in the Daily Collegian.

Sanger took the oppportunity to visit her brother, Bob Higgins, Hall of Fame Penn State football player and coach.


Daily Collegian



Solve Europe's Population Problem, Or War Will Result, Sanger States

"Europe's over-population problem is sizzling now; in five or six years something is going to explode!"

Mrs. Margaret Sanger usually convinces the skeptical with her smile, but now a vague shadow of seriousness hovered over it. As she spoke, small, almost unnoticeable gestures betrayed long trying hours on the lecture platform in championing the cause of birth control.

"Already Italy has its eye on several choice pieces of territory. And when its congested mass of humanity is so much in excess that it reaches the brim and overflows, we shall have a war." She paused and then added crisply. "This is as inevitable as was the outbreak in 1914."

"Population must be controlled. Unless it is limited or some system of distribution worked out the nations of the world might just as well throw all their peace treaties to the winds," Mrs. Sanger said. "Peace will never be achieved until this problem is solved; that's why the birth control question has become not only of family importance but of international significance."

"Fortunately, statesmen are beginning to acquire some concept of the importance of the over-populated plight of many countries." Mrs. Sanger, who has travelled extensively in foreign countries, is particularly interested in the Italian and Japanese situations. "They must have some outlets for these increasing internal numbers, and they're resorting to invasion to find them," she said.

Mrs. Sanger explained that the de-population could be accomplished by either increasing the death rate of decreasing the birth rate. In the past the death rate has been raised by means of famine, disease, epidemics, and wars; what will happen in the future remains to be seen, she said.

And then her voice softened, she seemed almost shy, so that no one would hardly suspect her of being a crusader, a pioneer.

"After all, no matter how hard we fight, birth control will come. It's just a matters of how soon."