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Margaret Sanger Quotes

Margaret Sanger (1884-1966)

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Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, worked first as a nurse where she learned first-hand of the health and social problems of too many pregnancies. Margaret Sanger spent time in jail to fight for sex education, and for distributing contraceptive information and contraceptives. Margaret Sanger lived long enough to see the practice of birth control declared a constitutional right (for married couples) in 1965.

Selected Margaret Sanger Quotations

• No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.

• Greater understanding and practice of planned parenthood, through the use of contraceptive measures prescribed by doctors and clinics, will mean that there will be more strong and healthy children and fewer defective and handicapped babies unable to find a useful or happy place in life.

• Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man's attitude may be, that problem is hers -- and before it can be his, it is hers alone. She goes through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it.

• It is our experience, as it was our aim, that as a result of child-spacing, and adequate care of mothers, death rates would be reduced. It is now a fact that as a result of birth control, the survival rate among mothers and children is higher. There is less suffering for all groups.

• Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.

• When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident, its children will become the foundation of a new race.

• A mutual and satisfied sexual act is of great benefit to the average woman, the magnetism of it is health giving. When it is not desired on the part of the woman and she gives no response, it should not take place. The submission of her body without love or desire is degrading to the woman's finer sensibility, all the marriage certificates on earth to the contrary notwithstanding.

• The real hope of the world lies in putting as painstaking thought into the business of mating as we do into other big businesses.

• Against the State, against the Church, against the silence of the medical profession, against the whole machinery of dead institutions of the past, the woman of today arises.

• War, famine, poverty and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap. They will cease only when she limits her reproductivity and human life is no longer a thing to be wasted.

• No despot ever flung forth his legions to die in foreign conquest, no privilege-ruled nation ever erupted across its borders, to lock in death embrace with another, but behind them loomed the driving power of a population too large for its boundaries and its natural resources.

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