Margaret Sanger, " [Introduction for Leon J. Cole] ," 1936.

Typed draft speech. Source: Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress , Library of Congress Microfilm, 129:676 .


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A fairly good record considering the material with which we must work.

But we are not content to rest upon the laurels of these claims.-- We refuse to look back with satisfaction, rather do we look forward with impatient urgent demands.

It is a curious fact that for all the hundreds of thousands of women in the more than 300 Birth Control Clinics now operating in the United States of America and that in the 13 years of our activity in the Clinical Research Bureau for the 56,000 women it has advised, we have been forced to depend upon a method discovered and perfected by Dr. Mensinger of Germany over sixty years ago! This is really an extraordinary situation and is precisely the reason why only a small fraction of the women in any country are able to benefit by contraception, ↑this condition↓ will remain until we find methods more suitable to the economic, social conditions of the masses.

We know that we have touched only a small fraction of those millions most in need of contraception. We have only scratched the surface of a problem which goes beyond the barrier of a single nation, a single race in fact beyond the boundaries of our own country. For ↑with↓ the whole problem of fertility, controlled and uncontrolled depends not merely ↑upon↓ the future of the Human race, but the graver one of its salvaging and its survival.

We have started to clear the way of rubbish and have uncovered many obstacles. We cannot go much further onward and upward without help. The submerged sections of our population are clamoring for cheap effective means to control the size of the family--They have never had a chance for they cannot come to us--So we must go to them.

The Birth Control Clinics have demonstrated fairly accurately that there are methods of contraception which can and will give good results. They have proven over a long period of time to be harmless and efficacious. To get results, however, it is necessary to be accessible to a medical or a qualified person who is equipped to advise and instruct.

To those millions of women on farms and homesteads, and in mining areas where the doctor is only an occasional visitor in times of illness, there is so far no contraceptive which can be recommended as efficacious and harmless. This is our great present and urgent need. She can not come to us. So we must go to her, but we must have for her use--methods suitable to her needs.

We must build the future of humanity--Waste of Mother and Child life. This will continue in an endless chain unless we face these facts fearlessly and do something about them.

Birth Control movement has arrived at a stage in its development to help that part of the population accessible to hospitals, doctors or other health service where properly qualified teachers are available. It has so far no answer, no reliable help, for the women on homesteads, farms or outlying rural districts where medical help is not convenient. This woman These millions of women are our problem--our next concerted effort must be on their behalf. If she can not come to us, we must go to her.

But, before we can reach her needs with the same results as attained by the city woman, we must have methods of contraception: cheaper, easier to apply, as harmless as those we now have, have proved to be.

The scientist must come to our aid. We want his cooperation, his wisdom, his impersonal courage and vision.

We must place the Scientist on the bridge as captain of our Cause, to guide us into the Unknown Future. (Introduce Prof. Cole)


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Copyright 2003. Margaret Sanger Project


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