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Quotations about Birth Control

A family of healthy, happy children should be the joy of every pair of married lovers. If, however, the course of "nature" is allowed to run unguided babies come in general too quickly for the parents' resources, and the parents as well as the children consequently suffer. Wise parents therefore guide nature, and control the birth of the desired children so as to space them in the way best adjusted to what health, wealth, and happiness they have to give. ~Marie Carmichael Stopes, Wise Parenthood, 1918

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. ~Margaret Sanger

Those who in principle oppose birth control are either incapable of arithmetic or else in favour of war, pestilence, and famine as permanent features of human life. ~Bertrand Russell

There is no other question within the broad scope of sexual problems that has aroused so much controversy in recent times as birth control. ~William J. Fielding, Sex and the Love-Life, 1927

The effort to put down birth control, led by Catholic theologians but with a certain amount of support from Protestant colleagues, offers a shining case in point. The more heat is applied to them, the more Catholic women seem to resort to the devices of the Devil, on sale in every drugstore. Many of these women are genuinely pious, but into their piety there has been introduced an unhappy doubt... about the professional competence of their moral guides and commanders. They have not only begun to view the curious fiats of bishops and archbishops with a growing indifference; they have also begun to toy with the suspicion that even the Pope, on occasion, may be all wet. His first anathemas against contraception were plain and unqualified, but of late he has begun to hedge prudently, and it is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry. ~H. L. Mencken

The struggle will be bitter. It may be long. All the methods known to tyranny will be used to force the people back into the darkness from which they are striving to emerge.... Men and women of America.... Raise your voice, strong, clear, fearless, unconditionally pledged to the protection of womanhood, uncompromisingly opposed to those who, to serve their selfish ends, would keep her in ignorance and exploit her finest instincts. ~Margaret Sanger, Frederick A. Blossom, and Elizabeth Stuyvesant, The Birth Control Review: Dedicated to the Principle of Intelligent and Voluntary Motherhood, February 1917

Woman has always been the chief sufferer under this merciless machinery of the statutory law. Humbly she has borne the weight of man-made laws, surrendering to their tyranny even her right over her own body.... 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 to‑day arises... If she must break the law to establish her right to voluntary motherhood, then the law shall be broken. ~Margaret Sanger, "Shall We Break This Law?" in The Birth Control Review, 1917  [referring to the Comstock Act —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Familiarity breeds contempt — and children. ~Mark Twain

The only hope for the human race is the conscious elimination of all overcrowded lives before their conception, by planning only to conceive those for whom adequate provision of material necessities and a loving welcome are reasonably to be anticipated. When once the women of all classes have the fear and dread of undesired maternity removed them from, they will be free to put all their strength into creating desired and beautiful children. ~Marie Carmichael Stopes, 1920

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published 2002 Apr 30
revised 2021 Sep 29
last saved 2024 May 19