Connecticut Birth Control League Speech




"Mrs. Sanger Says State's Law is Stupid", The Hartford Courant, Dec. 10, 1932


Margaret Sanger gave an address as part of a Wesleyan University undergraduate conference on marriage. No final version of this speech has been found; for notes on a similar speech, see Wesleyan University Speech Notes and Excerpts, Dec. 9,1932.


Hartford Courant



Mrs. Sanger Says State's Law is Stupid"

Birth Control Advocate Speaks to Packed Audience in Wesleyan Marriage Parley"

Pointing to the increased pressure of population upon food supply in the modern age, and toincreased births and a decreased mortality rate due to the advance of medical science, Mrs. Margaret Sanger,chairman of the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control, told the Wesleyan College Body Parley on Marriage this afternoon that "it is high time to take the question ofbirth control out of the gutter where Congress placed it 60 years ago, and to put it on a scientific plane where it belongs." More than 600 persons jammed in FayerweatherGymnasium to hear the noted author of "My Fight for Birth Control, Women in the New Race" and "Happiness in Marriage.

Denies Life Destroyed

Applying to her subject a line from Victor Hugo which says that "There is no force in the world like that of an idea whose hour has struck," and quoting George Bernard Shaw's statement the birth control isthe most revolutionary force of our age, Mrs. Sanger declared the movement for birth control to be "the signal of a newsocial and moral awakening."

Defining birth control, a term she declared to have been her privilege to coin, as "the conscious control of the birth rate by means that prevent the conception of human life." Mrs. Sanger vehemently denied that advocates of the movement desires to inerfere with life, or to destoy it. "Where there is no life, there can be no destruction or interference,"she stated. "Those who claim that birth control interferes with potential life forget that all who remain single are, in a sense, interfering with potential life."

The speaker pointed out that there has always been control of life by nature's violent instruments of death, disease, and famine, and claimed the superiority of her plan in exercising control from the very beginning.

Amazed at State's Law.

Mrs. Sanger expressed amazement over the fact that Connecticut, with more colleges and and universities than any other state"can and therefore the most intelligent" should have the "stupidest" laws governing the dissemination of birth control information. "How can a law which says its is a crime to use contraceptive devices be enforced?" she asked. Mrs. Sanger saidthat while New York's law is almost as "stupid," many states do allow the proper spread of birth control information, and she deplored the law making it illegal to use the mails to notify people where they may secure the necessary information. she cited cases to show that New York's law, which allows information to be given to women to whom childbirth would mean death, operates unjustly in many instances when no definate proof can be given of actual danger. she listed seven reasons for birth control, which included the elimination of insanity, the proper spacing of children, the protection of health in adolescent marriages, the protection of women when they have such ailments as consumption, the development of companionship in marriage and economic factors.

"No person," Mrs. Sanger declared, "has a right to bring children into the world when he cannot provide for them." She concluded with a brief discussion of the three ways of limiting the size of families, continence, sterilization, and contraception.

Other Speakers.

Mrs. Sanger was the sixth in a series of seven addresses given before record crowds attending attending the Wesleyan Parley during the past two days. Mrs. Gladys H. Groves and Erdeman Harris opened the Parley in Rich Hall last evening, their subjectsbeing "The Feminine Side of It," and "The Masculine Side of It." Father John M. Cooper of Catholic University opened today's program at 9:30 this morning, speaking on "The Church and Modern Marriage Problems." Father Cooper, declaring that welfare or well-being is by no means identical with happiness or pleasure, urged his belief that "Physical sex activities are fraught with the most far-reaching possibilities of good or harm to human welfare, depending ordinarily of in the main on whether they are carried out within or outside of marital union."

[Rest of article has been omitted.]