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Title: Debate on birth control - Margaret Sanger and Winter Russell
Author: Sanger, Margaret, Russell, Winter
Language: English
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                        LITTLE BLUE BOOK NO. 208
                      Edited by E. Haldeman-Julius

                        Debate on Birth Control

                          Margaret Sanger and
                             Winter Russell

                        HALDEMAN-JULIUS COMPANY
                             GIRARD, KANSAS

                            Copyright, 1921
                          The Fine Arts Guild

                            Copyright, 1921
                           E. Haldeman-Julius



                             Winter Russell
                              FIRST SPEECH

Mr. Russell: Ladies and gentlemen. I am very glad to have the
opportunity of speaking to you this afternoon, and I may say at the
outset that it is obvious that my adversary and I agree upon one thing,
and that is that we are discussing what is absolutely the most vital
question before the American people today. (Applause.) We are absolutely
in accord on that, and we are just as far opposed in our method of
approach as it is possibly probable to be.

I want to say at the outset that we are going to deal—or I am, and I
assume my adversary is, too—with ideals and principles and not with
persons. I want you to realize that I consider myself speaking—and I
trust reverently—on the most important subject that I have ever

I heard one of the greatest psychologists this country has ever produced
who said “When you conceive of the mere handful of people that inhabit
all the globe, and you think of the vast river of humanity that is
flowing on this planet, and you think of the billions of unborn, you
wonder if man sometimes transcends the impossible and thinks and
considers the unborn as God himself,” and I believe today I am speaking
in behalf of the great unborn—those who are being murdered by the
thousands, if not millions, in a manner that far transcends the method
of our warfare.

Now, I said that we are going to speak of ideals and principles and not
of persons. It is very difficult oftentimes not to attack a person or
hurt his feelings when you characterize the principle of an act, and you
sometimes have to be assailing a person. I hope and I try to love every
human being on the face of the earth. There are principles and ideals I
abominate and abhor with every drop of blood and feeling that I have. I
never want that abhorrence of the principle or ideal of the person to
adhere to that person.

I heard a minister the other day speaking of the French and Germans who
were having some conferences, and he was asked “did they still hate one
another?” and he said they did not hate one another because they broke
bread together and you could not hate a person with whom you have broken
bread, and he could not hate anybody that he knew.

I hate and abominate the principles that I am fighting, but I trust that
you will take the sting, fumigate it, take the anti-toxin, if you will,
because I don’t want any allusions to personality to be taken from any
of the statements that I make.

Another thing I want to say about my opponent, and I hope she will say
the same about me, is that I want to bow in sincere respect and
admiration for what I conceive to be her utter and absolute sincerity,
and to her devotion to the cause which she advocates. I question that in
no degree. I hope she will give me the same consideration.

We are going to deal with these principles. I am not going to concern
myself much with authorities. I suppose she can quote from Dr. Robinson
and apparently Dr. Knopf (he says he isn’t an authority,) and others as
authorities. I could quote from Lamb and Roosevelt and the Bible—the
great religions of the earth—scriptural authority that comes from the
very depths of the spiritual, and what I believe to be the very mouth of
God itself—of Nature—if you do not like to admit the existence of

I am not concerned with Scripture or authorities. I am going to deal
with this question with what I believe are the cold, inevitable facts of
life as we know them, and meet them every day.

Now I am going to admit in the first place that there are many families
with too many children. It would be foolish to gainsay that. They are a
burden to the mother. They are a hardship to the father who tries to
provide for them. They make conditions unfair and unjust for the other
children. The question is, and I hope that she will admit it also, that
there are thousands of homes in the United States of America that are
too lacking in children—although I think she has once stated that the
most immoral thing a person can do is to bring a large family into the
world—so we have thought, for example—and the question is, how are we
going to meet it?

I propose that we should meet this problem by the measure of
self-control. I believe by that means that we can solve the problem
thusly, and at the same time we gain one of the greatest advantages that
you can possibly win on the face of the earth. Sex control is the best
path to self-control and to self-discipline. It is the key to wisdom. It
is the key to power. It is the key to intellectual and mental
development; indeed, she has once stated that only those people who are
mentally developed are capable of self-control and I want to say that
they got a large measure of their mental development by self-control.
She is looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

And so we come to this method. I want as another part of my platform
upon which I am to stand to say that I conceive and hold marriage to be
more than physical. It is not a purely sensual relationship. It borders
on the aesthetic, spiritual, mental, and modern aspects of life, and
when you try to take the physical by itself you find a condition of
naked sensuality, which is disastrous in the extreme.

My contentions are these: In the first place, fundamentally, virtually,
universally, infinitely from every point of view; it is vicious, it is
false from every scientific construction that you can possibly conceive
of; it is one of the most vitiating things that you can conceive of from
every point of philosophy, and physiology and psychology—in other words
that you take the law of compensation and try to solve it. It is false
from every point of view—from the practical point of view.

I believe it is disastrous intellectually, mentally, and spiritually. It
is disastrous and perpetrates a great wrong upon the unborn millions who
are waiting for entrance upon this great amphitheatre of life. It is
disastrous physically, mentally, and spiritually upon the future. It is
disastrous to the same degree upon the people who practice it—husbands
and wives who resort to these measures and then I hold that it
perpetrates the greatest crime of all the ages, namely, race suicide.

Let me approach the first method, and that is this question of whether
it is right from the point of view of the philosophy of man, if you
will, and I want you to consider it simply from the practical living
point of view. I want to lay down this proposition—it is that you can’t
have pleasure in this world without paying for it—that there are certain
laws that sweep through the entire universe from the furtherest star to
the tiniest atom and molecule that you can find in existence.

I am a member of the bar of the State of New York. I trust that I have
due regard and respect for the statutes, the constitution and the laws
of this great city, state and nation. But I hold them as the veriest
trash when they come up against the laws of Nature. The laws of Nature
cannot be revised. They cannot be repealed. There is no power in this
whole universe that can change these laws and you have to deal with

That means you can’t get pleasure without paying for it. Nature is
inexorable in bringing about her retribution. It does not need any
balance book. You can never embezzle. You can’t cheat. You can’t get
away from it.

Emerson has said that “the ingenuity of man has always been dedicated to
the solution of one problem—how to detach the sensual sweet, the sensual
strong, the sensual bright from the moral sweet, the moral deep, the
moral fair—that is again to contrive to cut clean off this upper surface
so thin as to leave it bottomless to get a one end without an other end.
The soul says eat, the body would feast. The soul says, ‘The man and
woman shall be one flesh and one soul.’ The body would join the flesh

“All things are double, one against another,” continued Emerson. “Tit
for tat. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, blood for blood,
measure for measure, love for love. Give it and it shall be given you.
He that watereth shall be watered himself. What will you have, quoth
God, pay for it and take it. Nothing ventured, nothing have. Thou shalt
be paid exactly for what thou hast done, no more, no less. Who doth not
work, doth not eat. Harm watch, harm catch. Curses always recoil on the
head of him who imprecates them. If you chain a slave, one end chains
you. Bad counsel confounds the adviser. The devil is an ass.”

You must pay at last your own debt. Those are the laws. Now we recognize
it in physics. Energy cannot be annihilated. Birth control says “yes”
you shall pay the price. You can annihilate that energy and drink from
the cup of pleasure, but you don’t take the responsibility—the duty and
the care. You recognize it in physics. You recognize it in chemistry, in
every law of life. When Ponzi in Boston said, “I will give you 50
percent”—the world laughed because it can’t be done. Birth control
advocates like the Ponzis say they will give you 50 percent and 100
percent on your investment, but it can’t be done. It is frenzied
finance. It is along the lines of the people who are alchemists, who
think they can turn the baser metals into gold. It is an age-long dream.
It is a belief that has been held from the beginning of time. That thing
cannot be done. That is the law of life—of God—that you have to pay.

And so that is the thing you are confronted with. I don’t say that you
don’t seem to gain, but for every gain you seem to grasp you have lost
the life of it. He who does not work shall not eat. The trouble is that
we are bound by the fetish of money, of gold, and lose sight. In other
words we have eyes literally that see not, and ears that hear not.

And that is the thing that we must consider. So I want you to have in
mind, that by the very law of life, the very theory of science of our
being, we have to pay, and if we take that, if we try to grasp that we
are going to pay the penalty. In my next opportunity to address you I
shall take up that to show you how we pay. (Applause.)

                            Margaret Sanger
                              FIRST SPEECH

Mrs. Sanger: Mr. Chairman, and ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Russell and I
seem to agree on some of the points of this argument at least, but as
usual with most opponents of birth control, they have absolutely no
intelligent argument. (Laughter.) They always barricade themselves
behind the Bible or the terrible vengeance of an offended nature. That
is exactly what Mr. Russell is doing now.

Now, friends, I want to say let us get down to fundamental principles.
Let us get together and look at life the way it is now, not as it might
have been had Nature acted thus and so, not as it might be had God done
thus and so, but as we find ourselves today. We have a few principles of
life by which we must live, and I claim that every one of us has a right
to health, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness. I say furthermore
that birth control is an absolutely essential factor in our living and
having those three principles of happiness. (Applause.)

By birth control, I mean a voluntary, conscious control of the birth
rate by means that prevent conception—scientific means that prevent
conception. I don’t mean birth control by abstinence or by continence or
anything except the thing that agrees with most of us, and as we will
develop later on, most of us are glad that there are means of science at
the present time that there are not injurious, not harmful, and all
conception can be avoided.

Now let us look upon life as it really is, and we see society today is
divided distinctly into two groups: those who use the means of birth
control and those who do not.

On the one side we find those who do use means in controlling birth.
What have they? They are the people who bring to birth few children.
They are the people who have all the happiness, who have wealth and the
leisure for culture and mental and spiritual development. They are
people who rear their children to manhood and womanhood and who fill the
universities and the colleges with their progeny. Nature has seemed to
be very kind to that group of people. (Laughter.)

On the other hand we have the group who have large families and have for
generations perpetuated large families, and I know from my work among
these people that the great percentage of these people that are brought
into the world in poverty and misery have been unwanted. I know that
most of these people are just as desirous to have means to control birth
as the women of wealth. I know she tries desperately to obtain the
information, not for selfish purposes, but for her own benefit and for
that of her children. In this group, what do we have? We have poverty,
misery, disease, overcrowding, congestion, child labor, infant
mortality, maternal mortality, all the evils which today are grouped in
the crowd where there are large families of unwanted and undesired

Take the first one and let us see how these mothers feel. I claim that a
woman, whether she is rich or poor, has a right to be a mother or not
when she feels herself fit to be so. She has just as much right not to
be a mother as she has to be a mother. It is just as right and as moral
for people to talk of small families and to demand them as to want large
families. It is just as moral.

If we let, as we are supposed to do, nature take her course, we will say
that we know that any woman from the age of puberty until the age of the
period of menopause that that woman could have anywhere from 15 to 20
children in her lifetime, and it will only take one relationship between
man and woman to give her one a year to give her that large family. Let
us not forget that.

Are we today, as women who wish to develop, who wish to advance in life,
are we willing to spend all of our time through those years of
development in bringing forth children that the world does not
appreciate? Certainly, anyone who looks out to that will find that there
is very little place in the world for children. And besides, if a woman
does spend all her time in child-bearing, do you know that even with a
healthy woman, that if she does this one out of ten of those women who
have children as often as Nature sends them, dies from child-bearing?
One out of every ten of women who let nature take her course and have
from 12 to 16 children die from child-bearing, and furthermore, there
are many cases where it is absolutely indispensable for a woman’s
health, for her life in fact, to have means to control birth. There are
cases as Dr. Knopf said, of syphilis, cases of tuberculosis; do you
realize that out of every seven women who have tuberculosis today that
four of them die, not from tuberculosis, my friends, but they die from
pregnancy. They die because they have not that knowledge of birth
control, because physicians and all the others who should be
disseminating information and safeguarding these women’s lives are not
giving them the fundamental things to cure her disease, but they allow
her to become pregnant. They keep her in ignorance from this particular
knowledge that should assist her in recovering her health. Not only with
tuberculosis, but there are other diseases that are inimical to the
woman’s health and happiness. Heart disease is another thing that
pregnancy absolutely stimulates and it means a woman’s death. Not long
ago there was a young girl who came to me who had kidney disease. She
was a telegraph operator. Her husband was a young working man, but he
was not able to support a family. She had on two different occasions
tried to have children, but she had kidney disease and they found her in
convulsions, she had froth at her mouth and she was taken to a hospital
in a serious and critical condition. When she did this, the only thing
they could do to her was to resort to abortion and yet they send her
back to her home, to her husband and family again in just the same way
with no information of how to protect herself against another condition
just as she had gone through. That is what happens to our women today,
even those who are suffering from disease where they should be protected
with means and knowledge of birth control.

The only weapon that women have and the most uncivilized weapon that
they have to use if they will not submit to having children every year
and a half, the weapon they use is abortion. We know how detrimental
abortion is to the physical side as well as to the psychic side of
woman’s life, and yet there are in this nation, because of these
generalities and opinions that are here before us, that are stopping the
tide of progress, we have more than one million women with abortions
performed on them each year.

What does this mean? It means it is a very bad sign if women indulge in
it, and it means they are absolutely determined that they cannot
continue bringing children into the world that they cannot clothe, feed
and shelter. It is a woman’s instinct, and she knows herself when she
should and should not give birth to children and it is just as natural
to trust this instinct and to let her be the one to say and much more
natural than it is to leave it to some unknown God for her to judge her
by. I claim it is a woman’s duty and right to have for herself the right
to say when she shall and shall not have children.

We know that the death rate, maternal death rate, has not been falling
in the United States of America, although the death rate from diseases
has been falling. That shows woman is given the last consideration in
scientific and medical lines. But then woman will never get her own
freedom until she fights for it, and she has to fight hard to hold and
keep it. We know too that when the children that come to this mother
against her will and against her desires, when they come into the world,
that we have an appalling number of 300,000 babies each year in this
country who die each year before they reach one year of age—300,000 if
you please, and it is safe to say and anyone who has gone among these
mothers and these children—it is safe to say that the great percentage
of these children that are born have been unwanted. The mother knows
that that child should not come to birth, when the five or six or seven
that she has have not enough to eat. That takes common sense and every
working woman has that common sense.

We have these 300,000 babies, this procession of little coffins, and we
shake our heads sadly and say something must be done to reduce the
number, but nevertheless we go right on allowing 600,000 parents to
remain in ignorance of how to prevent 300,000 more babies coming to
birth the next year only to die from poverty and sickness.

We speak of the rights of the unborn. I say that it is time to speak of
those who are already born. I also say and know that the infant death
rate is affected tremendously by those who arrive last. The first child
that comes—the first or second or third children who arrive in a family,
have a far better chance than those who arrive later.

We know that out of a thousand children born that 200 of them live [sic]
when they are either the second or third. When the seventh arrives there
are 300 that die out of that thousand, and by the time that the twelfth
child arrives, 600 of this thousand passed away, and so we can see that
the man or woman who brings to birth two or three children has a far
better chance of bringing them to maturity than if they continued to
have nine or ten or twelve children.

Those are facts. They are not generalities or opinions. The United
States Government stands behind these facts. Then we also, through our
maternity centers and child welfare means and other means, we finally
rescue some of these children, and do not allow them to die under one
year of age, and then when the mother is pregnant again—if maternity was
not forced upon her—she would be able to bring that child through.
Another one begins to come, and we find that this child that was rescued
from dying during its first year now succumbs before its fifth year, and
then we have 150,000 children who die before they reach the fifth year
of age and so we can enumerate all of these conditions which are so
despicable and so difficult in this country because we will not get to
fundamentals. We will not deal with the cause of things while we are
anxious to deal with the cure. When a mother does finally bring her
children through the adolescent period, what is the next thing she has
for that? We find in the South that where children come according to
Nature, every year and one-half, that as soon as they are able, they are
shuffled and hustled on in to take the place and compete with their
father in the factories. That is the place that society has for children
of the poor. We find in other states, too, where it is only a question
of a few years later that also the children as soon as they are able to
take their place in industry, are pushed out of home, not because the
mothers of these children are not just as anxious to see them in
universities and colleges but because of the pitiless earnings that she
must have to support those who are coming behind them.

Most of us know this. We know something about the actual conditions of
life as it is among us. In some of the factories of Lowell and Fall
River, Mass., it was found that of the children who work and toil there,
under ten years of age, that 85 percent of them come from families of
eight—their mothers have given birth to eight children—and we find in
the south very much the same thing, excepting a higher percentage of 90
to 93 percent of the children there.

That is not the only thing. We have conditions again that are more
disastrous to the race than child labor or infant mortality, and that is
the transmission of the venereal diseases to the race that is to come.

We know that the mothers and fathers of today produce the race of
tomorrow, and know that unless we have a clean child and a clean stream
of blood pouring through that child that the race of tomorrow is a
doomed foregone conclusion. We know, too, that out of this terrible
scourge of disease that we have 90 percent of the insanity in this
country, due to syphilis. Anyone who is dealing with fundamentals would
know that these people should use means to protect themselves against
having children. They should absolutely in due regard to themselves, to
their children and to the race, not allow a child to be born while that
disease is running riot in the system, and then we have that terrible
consequence which is insanity.

We have fifty percent of the still births of this country, in other
words, dead babies, that are dead when they are born—50 percent are due
to this disease. You may think that these things are taken care of, but
if I told you that they are not—syphilitic women today are allowed to
bring forth progeny even in the face of all officialdom, and all the
kind and humane things and other kind of things that are doled out to
women today—that women are bringing forth children when they themselves
are syphilitic.

Not long ago we took a syphilitic woman to 43 hospitals in the city and
every one of them said, “We will cure her disease. Leave her here. We
will do the best we can for her, but don’t ask us to give her the
information to control birth. That is not our office. That is not for
us,” and so that little syphilitic woman went back again to her home and
will become pregnant only to abort again, which was a great kindness.

Nature sometimes brings the syphilitic to birth before their full time,
or brings them dead. In other states of syphilis, that is not so, and we
have feeble-minded as well as insane. We have 400,000 feeble-minded
people in the United States that any authority on the subject would say
to you “Not one of them should have been born.” They never should have
been born and sometimes these parents are perfectly normal, and yet this
taint has gone through the blood and has left this perfectly normal
physical person who arrives at the adult age with all its physical
functions, and yet it has the mentality of a child eight years of age.
The feeble-minded man or woman is of no use to itself or society, and it
would be better if we were living in a real civilization that they
should not have been born. Only 40,000 of this 400,000 are entered in
institutions and the others are living among us, producing and
reproducing their progeny and providing abundant material and
opportunity for the continuance of charities and other institutions for
ages and generations more to come.

We found also in one institution—a so-called reformatory where they take
the girls of the underworld—prostitutes—in Geneva, Ill., they find that
50 percent of these girls coming into the underworld—the prostitutes—was
of this cause, that she belonged to the feeble-minded, and again we find
that 89 percent of these came from large families.

You can’t get away from it, my friend. Large families and poverty and
misery go hand in hand. Now what do we try to do for all these
conditions? How do we look out upon them? We are in a track. Motherhood
has been tracked. We find that most of the social agencies of the
country are trying to legislate these things out of existence. That is
all. They run off to Albany and to Washington and they make eight-hour
laws for women in industry, but they never think of the poor mother in
the home who might have eight hours. Can you think of the mother in the
home with eight hours? She has to go out of the home, out into industry
to be protected by the law. Do you realize that mothers and women never
have a night’s rest from the time that they are pregnant, some of them
until the door of nature closes their maternal functions? They never
know what it is to have one whole night’s rest. They are up nights with
babies. Is this freedom or liberty? Hasn’t she a right to herself—hasn’t
she a duty to herself to say when and under what conditions she shall be
a mother?

We try to reduce our infant mortality rate by our milk stations and all
of the other things going on today. Thousands and thousands of dollars
are spent for this condition, and to a certain degree some of it is
taken care of but it does not get at the root. When we come to maternal
mortality we find also huge funds that are spent in nurses going into
the homes of the poor, telling the mother of eight children how to have
her ninth. (Laughter.) Most of us know that that mother wants to know
how not to have her tenth. That is the welcome assistance that they can
give that woman, but that will be the last stone to be turned.

Also our child labor—we make laws in Washington against child labor,
hoping we will wipe that out of existence. For 50 years they have been
trying to wipe child labor off the books in the United States, but they
have not succeeded and they will never succeed until they establish
birth control clinics in those districts where these women are, where
they put in birth control clinics, like they have in Holland—in every
industrial section in the United States where women can come to trained
nurses and physicians and get from them scientific information whereby
they may control birth.

Now we look upon all these things just about in the same way. We try to
palliate most all of them. Take one instance—our immigration laws. The
United States Government makes the most rigid laws. It scans over the
vessels carefully to see that no one should enter who is an idiot, who
is insane, and who is a pauper. They see to it that anyone who enters is
not an idiot, is not insane and is not a pauper. They make those rigid
laws and rules for those who shall come in, but after you are once on
the inside, you can produce and reproduce and repopulate the earth with
syphilitic and diseased and insane people as far as the government is
concerned. This is the short-sighted side of our whole life. We are very
generous and sympathetic but we are oversentimental, and the time has
come to use our minds and to apply our intelligence to life and to the
conditions of life as we find them today.

Now Mr. Russell has said some things that are very interesting to me. He
tells us that we cannot have pleasure without pain. It is a man who is
speaking. (Laughter and applause.) It is very peculiar that Nature only
works on the one side of the human family when it comes to that law. She
applies all the pain to the woman. It is absurd—a perfectly absurd
argument in the face of rational intelligence (applause) to talk about
marriage being for one purpose.

Now I claim—and I differ with Mr. Russell on that—I claim that the sex
relationship has distinctly two functions. It has its love function and
it has its maternal and paternal function. One is quite independent of
the other, and one is just as moral as the other, and if it were not so,
then the laws of this country ought to divorce the woman who is not able
to have children. Absolutely! And we know it does not. We know that the
time the children are created that there is not 1 percent of humanity
that is born or created with that thought in mind. Very few people think
at the time of creation that they are going to create. Most of us are
brought into the world by accident and that is exactly what birth
control is going to change. That is going to make humanity a conscious
and voluntary thing.

When we talk of race suicide, it would take almost a whole afternoon to
tell you how futile that argument is. We know perfectly well, those of
us who have studied the question that in those countries where birth
control knowledge has been at the disposal of the people that, although
the birth rate has gone down, that the death rate has also gone down.
Consequently the population has been accelerated and there has been a
better population because it has been a better and healthier population.
If Mr. Russell wants to talk about the race and does not want race
suicide he had better come over quickly to the ranks of birth control.

                             Winter Russell
                             SECOND SPEECH

Mr. Russell: May I say at the outset that I did not say we could not
have pleasure without pain. I said we could not have pleasure without
paying for it and the man has to pay. (Laughter.) I, too, am concerned
with the matter of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have
been trying to find out the truth about that from the very first time
that I began to think, and that is what I want to find out, and I
devoutly pray right now that if Mrs. Sanger has got the truth that it
will prevail, but I want to know the truth and I feel still that the
truth is not there.

I am going to concern myself entirely with refutation now. I am going to
speak a little more about the positive side of this. I would say that
Mrs. Sanger has done quite a little for me in pointing out that there
are these two groups she sees all of the time—these families with large
numbers of children. I hope that I do not miss sight of them entirely. I
may not know them directly or as intimately as Mrs. Sanger, but Mrs.
Russell has been in 1,500 of the homes reported to be in dire straits
and destitution. I have been living with her as her husband during the
time that she visited those homes. And I feel that through her report I
know something of those homes as well. I see the other homes of the
small families, but I am frank to say that I do think in a far different
line than Mrs. Sanger. She says that the large family is the family of
poverty and of misery; very often, though not always nor in so large a
measure as is generally expected, is it the family of poverty and by no
means is it the family of misery. I have seen the misery beyond words in
the small family. I know that my mother considered—and she had three
children—that her life was a long tragedy. There was never a day that
she waited for food or clothes or a fine home, but practically all of
her talk was like the story of a great tragedy. My sister has a husband
that has now an income of $70,000 a year. She has never known what it
was to want for food or clothes or a fine home, and I heard her say not
very long ago that she had never known what happiness on this earth is.
Mrs. Sanger sees poverty, she sees misery and she sees unwanted
children. To be sure, there are many thousands of these homes where, sad
to say, the children are unwanted, but they have made this devout prayer
to God, I believe, for children, and they have gotten them. They have
gotten what I believe to be the greatest wealth and treasure of the
Kingdom of Heaven that there is on the face of the earth, and when they
get that, they have to pay for it. They have to pay and take the

To my mind, these snickers and giggles is one of the most tragic things
on the face of the earth. It shows you haven’t got eyes that see. You
have neither ears that hear, and you haven’t got the heart that feels.
(Chairman calls for more respectful attention on the part of the

Furthermore, there are not as many as she feels that are unwanted. Many
in these homes are glad that they are numerous. And yet she says these
small families that she sees are all wanted. I happen to know that in
those small families, as she sees them, there is almost as large a
percentage of these one, two or three or sometimes four kinds [sic] that
are not wanted. It has become an exception. She has not become as
scientific as she ought to be.

She says she sees misery in large families. I do not see so much
happiness. She says that she sees congestion and infant mortality. A
large percentage of that was due to pure ignorance. My father was a
physician, and in that town that I am going to talk about—she says I
know nothing of the race suicide and I will show you that I do—in this
town of small families, there was infant mortality. My sister and I were
on the bed, at the door of death, for weeks because we had a terrible
disease. My father was a physician. We know that that disease has no
terror whatever for people who know how properly to treat and feed
children. There is a difference in knowledge between that day and this,
and much of the infant mortality is due to the lack of education.

Then she says in these days there is not so much infant mortality. There
is a place—she finds here in the small family, crime. I grant that there
is a lot of crime. They have filled a large percentage of our prisons,
but I will have you remember that in those homes that are small I
believe that there is a vastly greater number of criminals, not only
those who have enough knowledge to keep within the law but those who
belong in the penitentiaries, but they are keen enough and they are
shrewd enough to keep without the law and escape it.

The Lockwood Committee does not prosecute these profiteers, these
robbers and pirates who belong in the penitentiary, but just the same as
they think they can cheat nature by having a small family—that greed
that makes them criminals that do escape the law—I hold with Emerson
that they pay. They may not pay in a penitentiary but they pay.

Then she says that here is where we get our prostitution. Yes, again she
is right; a large number of the poor and unfortunate girls who walk the
streets do come from these homes. For every girl who walks the street in
that condition—I believe there are 100 who have a wedding certificate
and who live in a home—they are worse than prostitutes (applause)—they
want somebody to be their meal ticket. They want somebody that will
support them. They want respectability. They want all the joy that they
haven’t got. You men have to pay and you assume the responsibility.
Before these poor girls upon the street I take off my hat and before
these I can’t express my detestation. (Applause.)

Then, just think of the logic of her position. Oh, there are some beasts
in the marriage tie and they can’t be self-controlled. What is the logic
of it all? Is she going to have the young people filled up with this
knowledge and are people of her kind going to have full sway over their
lives—over their life of sacrifice and consecration to the welfare of
humanity—over those going through life single and should they have
compulsory marriage because they don’t have the joys of marriage? If she
says that they suffer the physicians will tell you it is because they
don’t have children, and if they do suffer, it is because they have to
pay that penalty.

Of all of the sickly stuff I ever heard of is this matter of
tuberculosis and heart disease and kidney trouble. If a man has got a
wife that has tuberculosis and heart disease and kidney trouble, and he
is such a beast that he can’t control himself and can’t consecrate
himself to the sick wife, the law should step in. Should we say that we
will surrender her to this beast? Half of them do not know the law of
health and development, and strength and energy comes from that very law
of self-control.

Then this matter of child labor. Why of course I would protect and we
are protecting them in other States, and we are looking after it. But it
is better to have these children born, terrible as it is, than not to
have any children at all.

Then they say that this matter of venereal disease—Good Lord—apparently
she wants to give them a certificate of an endless playground for the
rest of their lives. Feeble-minded, of course the law should step in
there and devote a little intelligence to prevent this crime from going

Now as to this matter of health—in the first place—we know that the
children are not being born. The statisticians of every life insurance
company in the entire United States are pointing out that the American
stock of today is dying out, that they are not being born, and then this
matter of the children that are born. Let us begin with them. Why, a boy
or girl that is born in a family of one or two, in the first place,
loses about one-tenth of a natural life because it has not the
association with children that it should have. I know one child in a
family that had quite a number of friends and their selfish and natural
attitude is “none of this one child stuff for me.” Those kids will grow
up and become nothing—those one or two children in a small family are
worthless. I will give you the facts.

They talk about going to colleges and universities. We are manacled
today by the fetishes of paper respectability. I have seen a lot of
these patriots. My grandfather’s mother had 13 children in a log cabin,
and I don’t think any of them died young. They all lived to a good old
age. That old patriot—he never saw the inside of a college, but he knew
more than half the graduates of Yale and Harvard. He knew the facts of

This matter of the physical side of it. You cannot divorce them. I don’t
care. I won’t discuss authorities. I don’t care if Mrs. Sanger should
bring every medical authority there is, for I can get as many as she
can. Take a case that comes up in court. Some man says the defendant is
very insane. Another gets up—an expert—and he says the defendant is not
insane at all. Everybody that she can get to say that it is not
harmful—I can get someone to say that it is. They go into the laboratory
and prove that the act is harmless, but they can’t get into the mind and
heart, and the mind and heart have more to do with the well being from
the physical point of view than anything you can possibly conceive of. I
was brought up in New England and in that section of the country every
housewife is a nervous wreck and nearly everybody knows why.

Audience: Why?

Mr. Russell: Mrs. Sanger can tell why. From the mental point of view, I
grant you here that it is difficult to measure the kind, but this mental
development is an arrested development. Do you know every father and
mother I believe are subjected to this arrested development? That is why
we haven’t more energy and vibrating health and strength in America
today. Why do we have this apathy and sluggishness in American life? It
is because of these thousands of arrested developments of these people
that want one or two children.

These mothers think that they are entitled to the whole world. Talk
about 2.75 percent beer. These mothers are not even 10 percent mothers,
then of all the misrepresentations and tears these mothers pour over
this one child—it makes me sick. (Laughter.) The ghastly thing is that
they have but that one child. The sad part of it is that we are not all
gifted with an imagination. Think what they are devoutly praying
for—that is the tragedy—just think when they get that one life or two,
and then when they begin to plan and contrive, and sacrifice
themselves—then if Fate or destiny cruelly takes that one child—what
greater tragedy is there in this world?

I have seen broken fathers and mothers who have said that life is dead
when that only child or that only daughter has been taken from them. One
of the saddest cases I have ever seen in my life happened a few days ago
when a mother recently buried her husband—and a few years later buried
her only son, and then her daughter, who had risen to the very pinnacle
of fame here in the city of New York, after one year of existence was
stricken down. A greater tragedy you could not picture than that.
Consider this, that for every one that is lost, how many are there that
they have not brought forth into the world? They don’t know what they
have missed and what they have lost. That to my mind is the greatest
tragedy of all, the spiritual side of it.

Now let me submit you a little about the practical side of it. Mrs.
Sanger says that I am theoretical, that I deal with the Bible. I do not
care whether or not the Bible has said it. It wasn’t that that makes me
take this attitude. This is the situation.

We have birth control in America today. The only thing is this—except
for two or three groups that to my mind are the very heart and soul of
America and upon which it relies—we have birth control in America. We
have birth control and Mrs. Sanger and the rest of her kind would talk
to the fresh, wholesome people that are coming over who are the hope of
America—she would come to them and not wait as we do make them wait in
order to become citizens. We say “you cannot be citizens until you have
a few years.” She would say, “We will hand you this purely American
doctrine of birth control and you can have that right off.”

I have an opportunity of seeing this through the years. I am going to
give you a picture of the block in which I was born and brought up, that
I have watched for 30 years. Thirty years ago I began to watch the
block. There were 17 families, 34 people at the start; 34 people who
were successful, they believe, in this little town of 3,500 people. It
had a fine school, a State Normal School—one of the foremost in the
State. It had a Boys’ School known nationally, if not internationally,
and they were 34 people in 17 homes.

All were successful and owned their own homes with well-kept lawns and
they were thoroughly American. They believed that they were well
educated people and that they were successful.

Now, take them house by house. The first family was a merchant. They had
one child, a girl, and “Oh, what a girl was Mary.” She was a singer.
There, Mrs. Sanger says, Nature was kind. She was a singer and she
yodeled and warbled over the country and then her parents thought that
Mary was going to be a great singer. No, she did not become one. She
married the station agent. The station agent did not find that there was
much rhythm in music in the home as there was in Mary’s voice and he
went out, and finally he stayed out altogether. He walked in front of
the locomotive and that was the finish of him. Mary lives today in a
little boarding house. That family is extinct. Mary is still living on.
That family is gone.

In the next house, there was a man who was a kind of good-for-nothing
fellow. I suppose the town said he came from far away and that he was a
boomer, but he had a wondrous wife. This wife wasn’t educated, but she
had the most phenomenal energy. She could wash 23 hours a day and she
did. They had three children and she, as Mrs. Sanger has said, she
wanted them to be brought up decent. The boy was sent to Harvard, by
this 23 hours a day wash. It was a fine home. The boy went to Harvard
and became a good-for-nothing, and went out West.

There was another daughter married. She had a son, too, who died. She
married a man in Vermont. They never had children and never will.

The third daughter married. She was a painter. She painted canvasses.
The station agent after an alarming career of drunkenness, died. He was
respectable. He was a federal official, but he died. And she will never
have children.

There is one child from that family. In the next house was the
superintendent of the state Normal College; two children, one boy, who
after a career, he married. The other is an old maid.

The next house was a physician. His first wife went insane. He had a
beastly temper. I don’t know whether it was birth control that did it.
There was one daughter. She had several marriages but no children. Then
she married again. That second wife went to the insane asylum. One child
died before it was of marriageable age.

In the next house was a man who had two children, and they never had
grandchildren. In the next house was a veteran of the Civil War who
spent most of his pension money on drink. He had two sons, one of whom
was married and his wife died in familiar circumstances. I suppose she
was not quite well informed. There was one child. The other boy from
that family—he is looked upon as uncommon and vulgar because he has four
children. Then this next house, there was a man who had several farms.
They had three children. One of them was an old maid. The second girl
married after several years. She died. There is one child from the
third. In that next house was one of my uncles. He died, too, leaving
two children, but they never lived and there is no grandchildren from

Crossing on the other side of the street, another physician. They had a
son who went to college. He has become a druggist in Vermont, married 20
years and no children.

That family is extinct. In the next house was another physician. He died
at the age of 45. His wife had no children. His wife was the champion
bon-bon eater. In the next house there was a boy and a girl. She married
a drunkard. He was a dentist. No children. The brother is out West, and
I believe there are two children there. In the next house, there was a
son and daughter. The daughter married the cashier of the savings bank.
No children; 25 years married. The son did not learn birth control quick
enough. They had a child before they were married. (Laughter.) His
mother took him and sent him out on a farm and she taught him, and they
only have had one since.

Then came my father’s house. I have one sister and one brother. My
sister has three children and my brother four, and I have four.
(Applause.) There are eleven grandchildren. Within the next house, there
is a merchant living with his wife and they both tended store. They
wanted to be so decent and accumulate a lot of property. They became the
crankiest individuals and when he died, his wife said he was the
handsomest looking corpse she had ever seen. It is extinct. No children

There is another that lived in that house, and they had one child. Out
of those 17 families, nine are extinct. Nine are dead and gone. They
have passed away. Is that race suicide? Out of eight who remain, out of
the 34 people, out of these eight families, there are 26 grandchildren.
My father’s family produced 12 of the 26. Out of 33 of the families,
there are 14 grandchildren if you except mine. I think I am an
exception. There is race suicide. Don’t tell me that that is one
exceptional block. I can duplicate that block on every street in that
town except one blessed community, Little Canada. They were not
Americans. They were vulgar. They were poor. They want big families, but
from these poor families in Little Canada, there have come the French
Canadians. From them come doctors, lawyers, and teachers, and they are
inheriting the town. There is race suicide.

I can duplicate that block in practically every American city in this
country. I can duplicate that block in every apartment house on the west

America is dying today—the America that we know. I wish that it were
not. I wish that it could get a cleaner and better ideal, but it hasn’t
got it. That is the tragedy of it all.

Now, that is what we have got to consider, whether we are going to do
that or not. I have no worry what ever and life has no worry. It does
not matter what you prove, the inexorable law goes on. “Those who do
shall inherit the earth. They shall have life unto the end and the
others shall be extinct.”

I come from college—Harvard. I believe that the average production of
college graduates in America is three-quarters of a life. That is
statistically and literally true. (Applause)

                            Margaret Sanger
                             SECOND SPEECH

Mrs. Sanger: There is no doubt there are many ways of race suicide but
Mr. Russell has not proven to me yet that birth control is causing it.
He has shown us—given us the number of inhabitants in a block which,
according to his ideas, are dying out. Those who have had no
children—there is no reason to claim or to know just what is the cause
of those people not having children. Many barren women today might be
desirous of having children, and they go through serious operations in
order to have children, and because sometimes of an infection given to
her by her husband, she is unable to bear children.

Furthermore, for every block that Mr. Russell can produce in New York
City, where they are controlling their numbers and where they are not
having the numbers sufficient to his satisfaction I can show you an
equal number who are overdoing themselves. (Applause.) I can give him
one block in New York City where there are 10,000 people, and but one
airshaft between them. They are living huddled together practically like
animals and he will ask these people still to produce numbers to a
greater extent than they have.

When we talk about race suicide it seems to me that there are other
things that one must consider. Birth control will improve the quality of
the race, and unless we do improve the quality of the race, it is better
that we do have race suicide. (Applause.) Certainly all of us who have
lived within the past five years and have seen what has gone on in the
world—we have seen the destruction of life—we have seen it so
mercilessly taken—certainly, there are other ways that race suicide is
being put out upon the world other than birth control. War certainly has
done something to wipe out the inhabitants of the earth. And if you go
to Europe where I have been the last six months or so and see the
condition of misery and unhappiness that is going on there, particularly
in Central Europe, you would say that death would be a blessing to these
people, instead of the hand of peace that has come to them. When I saw
more than 15,000 little children in Germany that were born since the
war, friends, brought into being in the most terrible conditions that
any country could be in—those children were brought to birth because
they, too, did not believe in birth control. They believe in numbers, in
expansion, in more and more children, and today, those hundreds and
hundreds of children have no backbone. They are almost unable to hold up
their heads. They will be absolutely useless for another generation. Are
these the kind of children we want to bring into the world? Don’t we
want quality instead of quantity?

It seems to me it is time we used our intelligence and stopped the
ranting phrases that we have been hearing so many of today. (Applause.)

Again I say, Mr. Russell tells us that he was quite sick when he heard
me tell about women who had tuberculosis and heart disease and other
ailments, and should have been prevented from becoming pregnant. He said
the man who did not have self-control was not worth much. I wonder if
Mr. Russell knows—he is a lawyer, and I wonder if he knows what the laws
of this state are as far as you men are concerned. The Bible states
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands.” It is one of the things
put into our laws, and the woman who does not submit to her husband—he
does not have to support her. I wonder if Mr. Russell knows that. I have
myself had cases where women have come to me and said: “What shall I do?
I have left this man. I can’t have more children.” And when she comes to
court the judge has said: “Are you willing to live with this man or
not?” And she said: “I can’t have more children. I don’t want more
children.” And the judge said: “You must adjust this matter for
yourselves.” The man did not have to support her unless she submitted
her body to him. That is the condition today.

We talk about self-control. I think none of us who look on the world
know there is self-control. No one delves in self-control. That is one
of the finest human instincts there is. When you see hungry people going
around with plenty of food in front of them, I think there is
self-control in the world. (Applause.)

And don’t forget that this self-control—and I would like to ask anyone
to contradict it that a man and woman may be ever so self-controlled and
if they are married and live in marriage relationship—that it only means
one embrace or one union to have a baby every year. The most
self-controlled man and woman in the world can still have a family that
that man can’t take care of. That is something to remember.

On the other hand, if we mean, and if Mr. Russell would only talk so
that we can understand him—plainly—I have to tell you what he means as a
matter of fact. If Mr. Russell means that this relationship between man
and woman should only be for procreation, then that is another matter. I
wish he would say so. If it means you are going to have two children,
then only two times in your life you should have union—that’s another
question. But our marriage laws are not based on that law. And it would
have to be a strict understanding before a woman married, before that
union or that companionship or relationship could take place. I have no
objection whatsoever to any individuals who wish to live that way.

But I am speaking for the millions of women who are crushed with over
child-bearing, whose lives are broken and who have become drudges in the
family today. I am speaking for mothers and the individual here, and
there does not concern me in the least. They may be an exception, but I
know there are millions and millions of women who are married, who are
just as self-controlled as anyone Mr. Russell can show us, who are
living in terror of pregnancy, but they have men who are just as good to
them. Men are not all beasts. These people give you an idea that men are
a lustful, beastly creature, looking to violate some woman’s virtue. I
wonder why a man does not stand up against that. They never do. It takes
a woman to stand up for them. I know that most of the women that I have
lived with—their husbands are men who are just as considerate and decent
as anyone you can find. They are trapped in ignorance. That is what is
the matter.

Our whole sexual education has been at fault. We have been kept in
blinders. We have been taught that this relationship is a vital,
terrible thing—put it out of your hearts. However a marriage certificate
is placed in your hands and Presto! everything is supposed to be made
beautiful. (Applause and laughter.)

Our married life and happiness depends upon an attitude and an ideal
attitude towards our relation, and we are not going to get it by
blindness and by ignorance. We are going to get it by adjusting our own
interests and our own intelligence to life as it is today, and I claim
that any man living on the average workingman’s wage today is not able
to support some two or three children decently. There may be exceptions
to that, but we have more than—I think it is something like 40,000 or
50,000 people in this country who are living and dependent upon public
charity, and every time a man and woman does not have the conscious
responsibility toward the children that they are going to bring into
being, and have them according to Nature, as Mr. Russell would say,
without regard to their protection, to preparing for their coming—that
just as sure as we do that—the man’s wage to do is unable to keep up
with his reproductive power. That has been the history of labor all the
way down, and the man and woman who brings to birth children that they
can’t take care of, it means you are going to pass that burden and the
responsibility upon some one else. We have today in China this terrible
poverty that is going on there. Thirty millions of people in China are
starving to death. The Chinese have always lived according to Mr.
Russell’s theory, and they are appealing now to low birth rate
countries, to those who have as a nation used birth control; they are
appealing to them now to save some other millions of others in China and
we have to do it.

The responsibility always comes back upon those who have protected
themselves, those who have lived within their own means, and according
to their own intelligence.

I am not going to take up all the time I have been allotted because I am
quite through. I want to say in the first place birth control joins the
fight against the transmission of venereal disease to the next
generation. Birth control is the pivot around which every movement must
swing making for race betterment. Birth control does not act as a
substitute for any social scheme or other ideal system. But it must be
the base and serve them as a foundation.

Birth control will free the mother from the trap of pregnancy. It will
save the child from that procession of coffins, as well as from the toil
of mill and factory.

Birth control will make parenthood a voluntary function instead of an
accident as it is today. When motherhood and childhood is free, we then
can go hand in hand with the emancipation of the human race. (Applause.)

                             Winter Russell
                              THIRD SPEECH

Mr. Russell: May I say that if Mrs. Sanger does not know what the cause
of no children in Farmington was, I do. Everybody in that town knew. It
was because they had made up their minds that they were not going to do
that and they did not have them.

That is one of the great troubles with this volunteer parenthood—it is
that there are so very few volunteers. Mrs. Sanger and I agree upon this
matter of education. She would not say to those who are trying to find
the ready path to health—those who are afflicted with tuberculosis and
venereal disease—that they can reach this road to health by self
control. She says that we will educate you and the feeble-minded about
the most delicate, intricate complications, and disseminate information
and literature that we have on the human body. She thinks she can take
the millions of people and, as a matter of cold fact, introduce this
knowledge. A large percentage of these millions of abortions are due to
the fact that they thought they knew all about it and they didn’t. And
Mrs. Sanger has pointed out that here still is a lot of laboratory
experiments and research work that has got to be done before they will
be absolutely, scientifically sure that they will know just exactly what
they are doing.

I would have them educated, and I would have Mrs. Sanger and all the
rest of them change their views in this connection because of education.
I agree with her absolutely with this. We are handing a marriage
certificate to those who are not prepared to have it. We make a man who
is going to run a steam engine or an automobile or prepare teeth—he has
to have a license. We ought to know about this matter of rearing
children. We ought to have education but it ought to be the education
that will give us the key to self-control and teach us how to take care
of the children after they have come.

And then this matter of the difficulty of self-control. If these people
that have the one or two or three children would take them with joy and
thanksgiving and devote themselves to the higher mental and spiritual
development that ought to come with them, and would have come if they
had been properly educated, the matter of self-control would be a very
simple matter indeed.

Oh, this matter of quality. We are misled on this matter of quality—this
matter of accomplishments. I don’t know how I can possibly impress this
any better than this. I believe that a woman who comes into Ellis Island
and can neither read nor write, and has seven to eight children, is
worth more to the United States of America than a graduate of Vassar
University. I will go further. I say this that if I had not been blessed
with a wife and mother such as Mrs. Russell is, that I would choose for
a wife today—I would rather have a girl that cooks and can’t read nor
write, who loves children, than some of these graduates with

We have four sons, and I hope and I pray that instead of getting as a
wife an educated rag and a bone and a hank of hair with accomplishments,
that they will get some of these women that want and love a big family
of children. I believe that their life will be richer, nobler, and
fuller. I have a daughter. I hope and devoutly pray that instead of any
person who is so utterly absorbed in this volunteer practice and they
think that after some years that they will have one or two children—I
would not say a common working man—I would say a divine working man—I
would rather she have one of those and have a big family of children,
rather than she should have one of the other kind.

Little Canada with its families has given a better quality of children
to that town and country than any other place. They call for statistics
of volunteer countries. They don’t realize it that there are great
segments of humanity that have it as a fundamental part of their
life—this matter of sacred relations. When you come to think that there
is not one single phase in life, one single place that you can be
frivolous with this sacred function, that it does not rebound and makes
you repay and takes its penalty—you pay the penalty. They have tried to
take the sweet without the responsibility. They have thought that they
could scheme with this sacred thing and strike a balance book with

As a matter of fact in China, I was reading the other night, two or
three of the great political economists, they say there is not a single
case in the history of the world where there has been starving because
of the number of people. The future of the race belongs to those that
have the numbers.

Then they say it is due to the war and the explosive populations. It is
just ourselves, Germany, France and Italy, who have been practising this
thing for years, the big material nations of the world, that are to
blame. Those nations that are true to life are going to inherit the
earth. It is inexorable in the way in which it works out.

As I look at America today, I see it in the grip of a foul monster. It
was as though we have been gassed. I consider these teachings as mental
and spiritual dope. Morphine and heroin don’t compare with the way in
which we are duped today. It speaks in all of our literature and
customs. When you see a woman in a pregnant condition today, you see
smirks and snubs as though it was a misfortune to that poor woman. We
are today in the grip of a foul monster. It speaks in our literature.

Take the intellectual life of America today. Greenwich Village thinks it
is intellectual. It is the intellectual sewage disposal plant of America
today, and it is not very scientific. It is a fact. Fifth Avenue and the
west side where I live—it is the social garbage dumping grounds of the
United States of America. All these people that think that they have to
be decent and have the freedom and liberty—freedom to be foul, freedom
to be disgusting—if there is anything that annoys me and my nerves is
this puking pus that is called love poured forth over the poodle dog by
some volunteer married person today.

As a matter of fact, a large family is the hope of the world. It is the
greatest disciplinary force that there is in life. There is nothing that
so develops the mind and soul of man and the woman as bringing up a
great family of children. These disciplinary forces we are losing today
and that is because we are following the easiest way. We are taking the
course of the least resistance. You are trying to get the honey and
escape the thorns, and it can’t be done.

Oh, these people. If Mrs. Sanger were true in this matter—then why is it
that the great mass of people—the down and outers, are single men, and a
good many of them, single women? It is because they haven’t control to
get the skill that is necessary and there is always that condition. We
find that by self-control one can lead a life of singleness. We find
that self-control gives them influence and power. School teachers,
priests and nuns—those people that have a tremendous influence, practice
self-control—they think they can obtain the pleasure without paying for

Now, the individual is really unimportant. If you look at life itself
and what you are trying to do, it is the race that is going to produce.
It is the race of the past that has made it possible for us to be here
today. And only as we measure up to this tremendous responsibility does
the race of tomorrow depend. I cannot give you all that I would like to
give you—a vision. But I believe that in these great unborn numbers is
really—there is the real resources of America. Why, we have resources
ample. We could all move into Texas and it would not be as crowded as
Belgium was before the war began. This matter of food and clothes—we
haven’t begun to touch the resources.

About that little town in Maine, rotten to the core with its birth
control, there are hundreds of depleted farms that used to support
families of ten and twelve children, and do that well, too.

That is where the future lies in the great unborn, in the heart, and in
the soul. The psychologists say we use but 10 percent of the brains we
have and we are using a small percentage of the spiritual and moral
resources we have, and we can do it if we live up to this responsibility
that we ought to incur.

I believe that in every mind and heart there is faith and love that
would make life glorious and glad indeed, and I wish I could give you
the vision of that. I have sought for ambition, fame, power, and I would
like to write a great song, but I know I could never begin to express
the music and joy of a great home, of a fine pure home.

I would like to paint a great picture, but I know I could never begin to
depict the color and composition that there is in a little daughter or
son’s face.

I would like to have a great piece of sculpture as my work, but I know
that I could never begin to express the beauty and form of a little
loving child in a home.

I would like to write a great novel but I know I could not for one
moment begin to give the comedy and the tragedy, the romance, and the
thrill that there is in the home group of little children.

And I would like to write a great play, but I know that I could not
begin to give the drama, the comedy and the tragedy that there is in
bringing up a little family.

I believe that the great mass of so-called Americans are today
voluntarily but blindly shutting the unborn out from the Heavens to
which I hope we will all ultimately reach. I thank you for your courtesy
and consideration. (Applause.)

Mr. Gould: May I announce that the real and practical decision of this
debate will be rendered by the New York State Legislature when they take
up the problem of whether or not birth control should be made public
knowledge? I thank you.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. P. 19, Sanger may have meant "die" rather than "live". Inserted
      "[sic]" into the transcription.
 2. P. 32, Russell may have meant "kids" instead of "kinds". Inserted
      "[sic]" into the transcription.
 3. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.
 4. Archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings retained as printed.

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