Select Page

Ridiculous Talk

January 18, 1934 — House Committee on the Judiciary, US House of Representatives, Washington DC


I just want to say one thing, and that is that we are not in any way connected with any commercial interests.

Margaret Sanger has worked for 20 years because she believed in birth control. She was a trained nurse, and the pathetic cases she saw among the people where they had too large families for their incomes and the mother’s health made her feel that the most important reform in the world was for women to be able to control the size of their families.

The theory that it is going to bring about race suicide is absolute nonsense, because of the strong maternal instinct in women. Women want children, but they want children that they can properly take care of, children that they can afford, both physically and economically. They do not want children to the extent that the younger children are going to practically destroy the lives of the first ones.

So that when we come to all of the academic and ridiculous discussions that you undoubtedly will hear as the hearing goes on, I think you want to be very careful to get down to the simple, basic fact, that women have a strong maternal instinct. Almost all women want children, if they can possibly afford it, and almost all women want to get married if they possibly can, and we know that, and all the talk that you will hear about the dangers of allowing the mother to decide how many children she is going to have, all of that talk is just ridiculous, just as ridiculous as the talk used to be when we were working for the vote and people said if women wen to vote, it would destroy the home and they would be attacked at the polling booths.

Now, the first speaker that I want to introduce to you is Mrs. Sanger. As I say, she has worked for 20 years. She has given her life to the cause because of her convictions in this matter and not because of any pecuniary interest of any kind.

Our association is supported entirely by voluntary contributions from men and women and women who believe that the present law is wrong and against the best interests of the women, of the children, of the men, and of the whole community, and I herewith submit the names of our officers and medical advisory committee. . .



Source: Hearings Before the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Seventy-Third Congress, Second Session, on H.R. 5978, (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office) 1934, p. 5.