Margaret Sanger, " [Cost of Public Relief] ," [Feb 1939] .

Autograph Draft Article. Source: Margaret Sanger Papers, Smith College , Margaret Sanger Microfilm S72:61 .

No final version was found.


Just one year ago Feb. 1938, a committee on Medical Care made a report to the Interdepartmental Committee to coordinate Health & Welfare Activities. This Committee was appointed by Pres. Roosevelt in Aug. 1938 & the Technical Committee made certain recommendations for Public Health and Welfare.

The plan was to cover a period of ten years at a cost of $850,000,000. The greatest part of these costs were for the medical care of “that one third of our population in the lower income levels & receives inadequate medical services.”

Huge sums are to be spent but nowhere was there a suggestion of preventive means of sterilization or any other means to decrease the numbers of “habitually Criminal” or “seriously psychotic.”

The figures over maternal & infant deaths were presented & they were told again that almost 15,000 women die from causes connected with pregnancy.

75,000 infants are still born.

70,000 infants die in the first month.

4/5 of this number from causes associated with prenatal life a process of birth.

35,000 children are left motherless each year.

1,100,000 births occur each year in families on relief or with a total income (including homes produce on farms of less than 1000.)

13 million of our 35 million children are in families on relief or with incomes of less than $750 a year. there are about 40 million of our population in need of medical care.

1,000,000 babies come into the world with no nursing care of the mother & another no medical care at all.

To break down source of these figures we find fathers in certain estimates making $186 a year -- $15 a month, 25 a day -- children are born from parents undernourished & diseased. Share croppers & migratory workers many of them our purest stock could become self supporting if their births were spaced.

We are already overloaded with debts & burdens -- no relief in sight.

We shall carry ten million on relief for many years to come -- unemployment -- Relief -- Pensions, go with each of initiative shiftlessness, dependency -- those who offer B control must answer for this condition -- were it not for opposition State & Federal Governments would long ago place in the world again --?

The working of the human mind during the past Century has been crab like in action, circumventing & ameloriative in results -- while forces of nature have been dynamic & direct.

We spend millions on Charity & philanthropy billions on Crime & disease. Millions to equip and maintain institutions for diseased, insane, feebleminded & Epileptic & morons while millions of normal parents never see a Doctor or nurse.

During the past 20 years those agencies directly responsible for the ↑today’s↓ muddle of uncontrolled breeding have come to realize our call.


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Copyright 2003. Margaret Sanger Project


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