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ERIC Number: ED163518
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Birth Control as Obscenity: Margaret Sanger and "The Woman Rebel."
Masel-Walters, Lynne
In spite of the negative aspects of her determination to be the sole motivator, controller, and martyr for the birth control movement, Margaret Sanger was a positive social force in testing and denouncing the Comstock law. The law, named for Anthony Comstock, a postal inspector who had lobbied Congress to forbid the distribution of obscene materials throughout the United States, equated birth control and sex education with obscenity. After Comstock declared two issues of a socialist newspaper unmailable because Sanger had mentioned the names of venereal diseases in her articles on sex, Sanger resorted to publishing her own newspaper, "The Woman Rebel." The first issue and six of the next eight issues were suppressed for their controversial content and Sanger was indicted on nine counts of law violation, despite the fact that the articles contained only general discussions of contraception. After Sanger fled to Europe, alleging that the courts were treating her unfairly, her estranged husband was arrested for passing on one copy of her birth control pamphlet. Resentful of his publicity, Sanger returned seeking a court trial in order to achieve publicity for her cause. When the government decided not to prosecute her, she achieved publicity by forming an organization to promote contraception. (MAI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Obscenity; Sanger (Margaret)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978)