Margaret Sanger, " [Real Horrors and Tragedies of Civilization] ," n.d..

Typed draft statement. Source: Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection , Margaret Sanger Microfilm S77:0079 .

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Mrs. Sanger agrees with Bernard Shaw, she says "that nothing that is admittedly horrible really matters any more, because if it is only horrible enough it frightens people into seeking a remedy to prevent its happening again.

If a plane crashes to earth, if an automobile falls over a cliff, if a building caves in and kills hundreds of people,--all horrible catastrophes, we admit, but if these horrors arouse communities and nations out of their lethargy and indifference, if they bring improvements, if they bring groups together into closer realization and form that collective mind of humanity which adds to the community of world wisdom, then these have enabled and advanced the spiritual progress of mankind.

But the real horrors and tragedies of our civilization are these, which happen every day, needless, useless, senseless, ceaseless, futile sufferings, which some good religious folks call “natural”, which take place all around us, day after day, year after year, and are perpetuated form generation to generation.

I mean the suffering and the fear of undesired pregnancy of innocent women, too poor to defend themselves, too weak to rebel, too inarticulate to cry out.”

These are the sufferings we are organized to eliminate--these are the women we are dedicated to defend.


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Copyright 2003. Margaret Sanger Project


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