Only nine days after opening the Brownsville clinic Margaret and her staff were arrested on charges of distributing Birth Control information and violating the Comstock laws. Margaret used her hearing as a pulpit to rally support for her cause and against the blatant abuse of the freedom of speech shown by the Comstock laws.

  In the end when given the option to go free and no longer distribute information about Birth Control, or to have the option and spend a month in jail, Margaret took the month in jail and spent it educating the other women about Birth Control.

  The ruling from this trail made it legal to give out Birth Control information if a mother's life was in danger. It had always been legal for doctors to proscribe condoms to me in order to prevent them from getting venereal diseases, but now, under the direction of a doctor it was legal to proscribe birth control to women whose lives were in danger. Margaret well knew from watching her own mother die, the deadly result of too many births. She had won her first big battle in the war for birth control.

  Margaret was ready to take on the world.


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This page authored by Ian Marlier, Sarah Carter, and Greg Mardirosian for the Seevak/FHAO Awards
at Boston Latin School, June, 1998