1916 May 22

Margaret Sanger Speech Cancelled in St. Louis

 

A scheduled speech by birth control advocate Margaret Sanger at the Victoria Theater in St. Louis was cancelled because of her views. Roger Baldwin, future head the ACLU and an active civic leader in St. Louis, helped arrange for her to speak at the City Club the next day and at the Town Club that evening.

This event was one of many encounters with the law in Sanger’s long crusade for  birth control. She opened the first birth control clinic in America on October 16, 1916, in Brooklyn, New York, and was arrested a week later on October 25, 1916. On February 2, 1917 she rejected an offered plea bargain and was sentenced to a month in jail. Years later, she appeared on stage in Boston on April 16, 1929 with a gag in her mouth to protest the fact that she had been banned from speaking in the city by Mayor James Curley.

Sanger’s organization, the American Birth Control League, evolved into today’s Planned Parenthood Federation (see January 18, 1939).

Birth control and Planned Parenthood in particular continued to come under political attack over the years. In the summer of 2015 an anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, released a series of videos which had been secretly recorded and then selectively edited to create the false impression that Planned Parenthood had been selling fetal tissue obtained from abortions. The videos sparked political attacks on Planned Parenthood from Republican Governors and presidential candidates. On September 29, 2015, Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards replied to criticisms of the organization in a long hearing before the House of Representatives.

Watch a short biography of Sanger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ndQXLx3pdA

Read: Ellen Chesler, Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America  (1992)

Learn more about Sanger: https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/margaret-sanger/

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!