Margaret Sanger, "Birth Control Research on the March," Oct 1952.
Typed Article. Source: Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection , Margaret Sanger Microfilm S72:0713 .
For a draft version see Margaret Sanger Microfilm S72:0707.
All workers interested in the study of human fertility and its control will be encouraged to know that at last there are research possibilities that a simple, cheap, harmless, effective contraceptive will soon be obtainable for the masses of all countries.
The following two recent studies have been publicized–one in the United States and one in London, England. Both of these experiments are, by no means, completed but I give them here to encourage those workers in the field of Birth Control and Planned Parenthood with the hope that within the not too distant future, both the tea from the weed and the pill will be available. Then the lovers and workers for World Peace and Happiness may look to a future where children will be born and cared for because the parents want them and can provide for them, who will become citizens of their country and the New World.
Recently a popular American magazine LOOK had an article written by William H. White, a staff writer, which electrified and amazed its readers. The article’s title was “Birth Control by a Pill,” which states there would soon be available a contraceptive to be taken by mouth–a pill which is simple, low cast and harmless.
This so-called Pill is the result of intensive research in this field of biochemists. There are several chemicals known to the biochemist which have been tried on animals in their food and proved to be successful in preventing conception. Many of these have been used by men and women and results have reached the stage where research papers and reports are being prepared for publication in Scientific Journals.
The requirements of the perfect “Pill” must undergo careful and painstaking scrutiny from various scientists in biology, biochemistry, as well as physical and psychiatric experts.
The first requirement is that it must be absolutely proven to be harmless to the person who uses it and will not cause disease or bodily harm with repeated use.
Second, it must control fertility, not limit or sterilize (a real Birth Control). Its effect must be temporary and entirely used at the discretion of the couple.
Third, it must not impair potency or the ability to perform the sexual act.
Fourth, it must be inexpensive so as to be used in all families for those in crowded tenements or slums, as well as for those whose intelligence is too retarded to use successfully the present methods of contraception (the diaphragm and jelly method).
With the discovery of this chemical contraceptive Pill, sexual activity can be separated effectively from Reproduction; consequently, having children will be by choice and not by accident. A child will be wanted and born in love and consideration by the parents. A voluntary and deliberate act.
The intricate details of this scientific study are too numerous to evaluate by any but the scientific student with years of experience behind him. There have been studies of experiments of immunization from pregnancy in Russia in 1935 called Spermatoxin. A report stated that 20,000 women had been inoculated by male sperm and had been immune from pregnancy for two years.
I went to Russia to study this experiment in 1936, but found the study had been discontinued for the Policy of an increasing birth rate. The formula given to me by two of the scientists who had worked in the Clinic was tried out on animals in the laboratory of one of our large universities (Pennsylvania University in Philadelphia) with no positive results. Nevertheless, these recently discussed chemicals are said to do the same thing–immunize temporarily the woman against conception.
There are many agents including vitamins, hormones, Enzymes, and Special Chemicals with power to control fertility. But, Research has only begun but it is On The March and a pool of scientific knowledge and experience will chart a course of further study. It is these valuable Research advances which make it necessary for Free Nations to prepare its people to make proper use of such knowledge when it becomes available for public needs.
It is, therefore, I suggest that the leaders in Japan who work coincides with these studies take council with leaders in other countries. Pool your experiences with ours. Set up Research and teaching centers–join the World Planned Parenthood Organization which we hope will emerge from the Conference in Bombay, India to be held there November 24th to December 2nd. The world has been waiting for the Birth Control Pill. Now let us prepare our course to receive and use it for the benefit of the family, the Nation and the World.
LONDON – A recent report from London from Professor John Gudkin, London University Physiologist, has found a new liquid type of contraceptive taken as a tea–tastes like sherry wine and renders women sterile for several days but does not effect their general health nor prevent their future child-bearing capacity.
The tea is made from a weed called Gromwell, a cousin of the forget-me-not flower so common in English gardens and to all garden lovers. Its official name is (lithosphermun officinale). Dr. Gudkin began experiments with this weed three years ago with mice. The experiment was 100% perfect.
With Dr. Gudkin was Dr. B. P. Wiesner, a specialist in human fertility. Also helping are other experts–one Dr. John Gilmore, Director of the Botanical Gardens of Cambridge University. These experts are now encouraging people to grow Gromwell in their gardens and women are experimenting under their direction. The discovery came from a study of the Shoshone Indian tribe in Nevada, U.S.A. This tribe practiced Birth Control with one variety of the weed most successfully. These experts plan to have a large scale human experiment next spring to adjust the dosage, also to prepare its potency for male and female fertility.
These men believe that people should have children when they want them and to be helped to prevent those they do not want and to be made fertile for those children they desire to have.
They also state that this weed might be the simple means of controlling World Population and lead eventually to World Peace.
Copyright 2003. Margaret Sanger Project