The morality of Birth control

Report
THE MORALITY OF
BIRTH CONTROL
Margaret Sanger
Yesenia Camarero
3rd Block
Honors English II
March 27, 2013
BACKGROUND
 1879 – Born in Corning, New York
 Her mother died at age 40, which led her to become an obstetrical
nurse
 1902 – Married an architect named William Sanger, they had 3 children
and she became a housewife.
 A few years later, Sanger returned to obstetrical nursing, helping women
on the lower east side of New York
VIDEO OF THE MORALITY OF BIRTH
CONTROL SPEECH
 Since this speech was given in the early 1920’s, I wasn’t able to find a
video/audio clip of this speech being presented.
VIDEO OF ME GIVING THE SPEECH
SOAPSTONE - SUBJECT
 “The one issue upon which there seems to be most
uncertainty and disagreement exists in the moral side of the
subject of Birth Control.”
 Essentially Margaret is speaking on what she believes is right and wrong
regarding birth control.
 “. . . in discussing the Birth Control subject in its various and
manifold aspects.”
 In addition, Margaret knows that there’s a variety of perspectives from
the people, which is why she discusses many viewpoints.
SOAPSTONE - OCCASION
 “The meeting tonight is a postponement of one which was to
have taken place at the Town Hall last Sunday evening. It was
to be a culmination of a three day conference, two of which
were held at the Hotel Plaza. . .”
 Margaret’s “The Morality of Birth Control” speech was delivered on
November 18, 1921 at the Park Theatre in New York.
SOAPSTONE - AUDIENCE
 “We sent such a letter not only to those who, we thought,
might agree with us, but we sent it also to our known
opponents. ”
 Margaret’s intended audience consisted of both people that supported
her and the ones that were against her.
 ”I believed that the discussion of the moral issue was one
which did not solely belong to theologians and to scientists, but
belonged to the people.”
 It also included scientists in that field along with theologians that were
there.
SOAPSTONE - PURPOSE
 “The reckless abandonment of the impulse of the moment and the
careless regard for the consequences, is not morality.The selfish
gratification of temporary desire at the expense of suffering to lives that
will come may seem very beautiful to some, but it is not our conception
of civilization, or is it our concept of morality. ”
 Margaret is trying to make those listening understand that birth control is moral; she
says that it’s not moral to make someone else suffer just for their own temporary
satisfaction.
 “For if they are not able to support and care for themselves, they should
certainly not be allowed to bring offspring into this world for others to
look after. We do not believe that filling the earth with misery, poverty
and disease is moral. And it is our desire and intention to carry on our
crusade until the perpetuation of such conditions has ceased.”
 Margaret explains her supporters view on birth control, as well as her own.
SOAPSTONE - SPEAKER
 “Conscious control of offspring is now becoming the ideal and
the custom in all civilized countries.”
 Margaret Sanger, a birth control activist, is giving the speech and is trying
to make people realize that birth control is becoming a norm to other
civilized countries.
 She impacted the world and influenced the world greatly.
SOAPSTONE - TONE
 “We stand on the principle that Birth Control should be
available to every adult man and woman. . . Upon these
principles the Birth Control movement in America stands.”
 The tone is strongly worded, determined, and hopeful to make birth
control legal to every adult man and woman.
MAJOR PREMISE/THEME/MAIN IDEA
 “We stand on the principle that Birth Control should be
available to every adult man and woman. We believe that every
adult man and woman should be taught the responsibility and
the right use of knowledge. We claim that woman should have
the right over her own body and to say if she shall or if she
shall not be a mother, as she sees fit. We further claim that the
first right of a child is to be desired. While the second right is
that it should be conceived in love, and the third, that it should
have a heritage of sound health.”
 Essentially, Margaret stresses to the audience that with the knowledge
of birth control, they’re able to limit family size, control population
growth and save more lives.
ETHOS
 “We know that the masses
of people are growing wiser
and are using their own
minds to decide their
individual conduct.”
 Margaret considers all
perspectives, not just her own,
because she knows that as people
grow older, they grow wiser.
 The ethos used in Margaret’s
speech were very powerful, since
it was such a strong subject.
PATHOS
 “The selfish gratification of
temporary desire at the
expense of suffering to lives
that will come may seem
very beautiful to some, but it
is not our conception of
civilization, or is it our
concept of morality. ”
 By stating this, Margaret
emotionally moves the audience,
specifically young women.
 The audience is able to grasp her
point of view in a much greater
sense.
LOGOS
 “When one speaks of moral, one refers
to human conduct.This implies action
of many kinds, which in turn depends
upon the mind and the brain. So that in
speaking of morals one must
remember that there is a direct
connection between morality and brain
development. ”
 Margaret is giving us her definition of what
morality means, which is basically the actions
of ourselves.
 ”Is over-population a menace to the
peace of the world? “
 She’s implying that if birth control was
legalized, women and men would have a
choice as to when they want to have children
instead of birthing children just because you
got pregnant.
REPETITION
 “The church has ever opposed the progress of woman on the
ground that her freedom would lead to immorality.”
 “We ask the opponents of this movement to reverse the
methods of the church, which aims to keep women moral by
keeping them in fear and in ignorance, and to inculcate into
them a higher and truer morality based upon knowledge. ”
 Margaret repeats herself when saying that the church is what’s holding
women back from having a much “realer” sense of morality.
PHRASING/MEANING
 “The third are those irresponsible and reckless ones having little
regard for the consequence of their acts, or whose religious
scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers.
Many of this group are diseased ,feeble-minded, and are of the
pauper element dependent entirely upon the normal and fit
members of society for their support. ”
 She uses the words “religious scruples” to drive home the basic need for
power and morality.
 When Sanger refers to opposition to birth control she refers to them as
“this group are diseased, feeble-minded, and are of the pauper element
dependent entirely upon the normal and fit members of society for their
support.”
 Her vivid imagery evokes not only emotion, but the need for aggressive
action.
POWERFUL LINES
 “We further claim that the first right of a child is to be desired.”
 The audience pictures a small, helpless child crying, which might remind them of their own
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
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childhood; either it was full of love or perhaps it was a miserable experience.
“This is a better method, it is a more civilized method, for it involves not only
greater forethought for others, but finally a higher sanction for the value of
life itself.”
The audience may realize that it’s in fact better to prevent the lives that would be
unhappy or unhealthy. The use of contraceptives is implying that their life will be better
off.
“Conduct is said to be action in pursuit of ends, and if this is so, then we must
hold the irresponsibility and recklessness in our action is immoral, while
responsibility and forethought put into action for the benefit of the individual
and the race becomes in the highest sense the finest kind of morality.”
The audience would have no room to argue with her definition, because she arrives at It
in such a logical and reasonable manner.
LITERARY DEVICES USED
 “While Nature's way of reducing her numbers is controlled by
disease, famine and war, primitive man has achieved the same
results by infanticide, exposure of infants, the abandonment of
children, and by abortion.”
 This is an example of personification, because it’s saying nature’s way of
not over-populating is by disease, starvation, and war.
 “Conduct is said to be action in pursuit of ends. . .”
 This is an example of a metaphor, because it’s comparing conduct to
action in pursuit of ends.
TO FOLLOW…
 Granted women freedom to
control contraception.
 Founder of Planned
Parenthood.
 Today, couples can control their
family size legally.
QUESTIONS?

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